The LA Times reports news of this 8th Circuit Court of Appeals decision from St Louis, which is good news for copyright and film owners. A Missouri business captured still images from film classics like Gone With the Wind and the Wizard of Oz, along with the TV show Tom & Jerry, and was using those stills in marketing and merchandising. After years of legal wrangling in the courts, the court found those stills were protected by copyright and/or trademark, so the Missouri business had to pay a licensing fee to the film owners or pay hefty damages for copyright and/or trademark infringement. It’s a rare treat to see a copyright or trademark case from the Midwest, since those cases are often handled in California or New York’s federal courts. And this decision is an important precedent for copyright and film owners to use in protecting their property and making a living from exercising their rights.
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(c) 2016, Stephen M. Johnson, Esq.