Jeff Jarrett And Global Force Seeking Appeal Of Dismissed Copyright Claims
As we reported last week, a judge recently dismissed Jeff Jarrett Global Wrestling Entertainment’s allegations of copyright infringement against Anthem, agreeing with Anthem that since Jarrett and GWE failed to copyright and trademarked their GFW Amped! tapes and Jarrett provided a license for Anthem to use said tapes, there could be no infringement.
PWInsider reports that Jarrett and GWE filed a motion on July for an interlocutory appeal, which will let the lawsuit move forward while the appeal is happening. They want the court to reconsider the dismissal. Anthem had claimed that by law, Jarrett and GWE should have filed their copyrights or been refused registration to claim copyright infringement in court. Neither of these happened because Jarrett didn’t have physical copies of the GFW master tapes (which were deleted), so Anthem said the infringement could not go forward.
Jarrett’s attorneys argued that “plaintiffs have no rights under the Copyright Act, and their copyright claim will be dismissed because GFE did not complete the registration process.”
They added: “It did not matter to the Court the reason the registration process could not be completed—namely, the infringers destroyed the only copy of the works-at-issue. The current law does not consider a situation where the entity infringing on the copyright destroyed the only copy of a work before application for registration and, therefore, making registration, or refusal thereof an impossibility because no deposit copy of the original work is available through no fault of the copyright owner. The dismissal of Plaintiff’s copyright claim presents an important public policy issue regarding the deprivation of rights endowed to creators of the arts under Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the Constitution. The Court’s Order, and basis for the Order, signals future infringers that they may act with no fear of penalty under the Copyright Act if they destroy the only copy of the work before a copyright owner’s filing an application for registration. This is akin to giving a free pass to criminals solely because they destroy the evidence of their crimes. Second, and respectfully, the Court’s Order and Memorandum Opinion incorrectly applied the Supreme Court’s decision in Fourth Estate by holding that a lack of a registration extinguishes a copyright owners rights under the Copyright Act. The Court’s Order stated in pertinent part, “Plaintiffs have no rights under the Copyright Act, and their copyright claim will be dismissed.” Memorandum Opinion, This is incorrect because ownership and existence of a copyright are separate from an ability to sue. Under the Copyright Act, the author of an original work has exclusive rights from the moment of creation of the work. Registration of a work is purely an administrative requirement before suing to enforce those rights.”
Jarrett said his claim was dismissed because he and GWE could not complete the copyright process of the master tapes since the tapes were deleted. Since Anthem deleted the tapes, they are at fault. They want the interlocutory appeal now because if they wait until the end of the case it could mean another round of discovery and depositions and a second trial.