box1 header1
Entry Detail
Terms of Use The data on this site is for education, insights, and entertainment, and is not to be used for commercial purposes. If you want to use content for noncommercial purposes, be kind and give us due credit. To read the full Terms of Use, click here.
Options Conduct New Search
Copy Permalink to this Item
 
Stormy Weather for Doo Wop Song (II)
Highest Court Seventh Circuit
Year Ended 2009
Plaintiffs Songwriter(s)
Defendants Band Member(s)
Individual(s)
Lawyer(s)
Nonprofit Organization(s)
Record Label(s)
Other Stormy Weather
Short Description This "over-litigated" case was mired by subpar lawyering and excessive legal filings, turning what could have been a rather straightforward copyright lawsuit into a pathetic symphony of sanctions, bogus motions, and attorneys' fees. The case revolves around the song "The Wonders of Indiana," written and performed by the Gary, Indiana doo-wop group, Stormy Weather. The band's leader Henry Farag, told the band that an Indiana visitors' center was interested in a song about the state, and songwriter, Cheryl Janky, took to the task of penning the tune. After some small changes were made, at Farag's suggestion, Janky regsitered the song in both of their names. When the song was released on CD, used at the visitors center, and included as "hold music" for the center's phone lines, Janky adjusted her registration to remove Farag's name and filed a copyright infringement lawsuit. A slew of motions, appeals, etc., followed, many of which pertained to procedural issues or to the numerous sanctions granted against Janky and her lawyers. These are well summarized in "Stormy Weather for Doo Wop Song (II)." At trial, Defendants presented various theories as defenses, including 1) the song was a work-for-hire, and thus owned by the visitors center or Farag and 2) the song was co-authored by Farag and Janky, as evidenced by her initial copyright registration naming Farag. After many motions were filed by Plaintiffs and denied, around $50,000 in sanctions were levied against Plaintiff and her lawyers (possibly more, since it's difficult to discern) over the course of this lawsuit. At trial, the jury returned a verdict for Janky, finding Defendants liable for $100,000 in damages, though around $15,000 in sanctions (against Janky herself) offset that amount. After more appeals and an alternate lawsuit was filed ("Stormy Weather for Doo Wop Song (II)"), the case found itself in the federal Court of Appeals. There, the court reversed the lower verdict in Plaintiff's favor, finding the song was co-authored by Janky and Farag; though Janky denied as much, the court held that the song was written with mutual intentions to be merged into an inseparable whole, and that Farag's contributions were independently copyrightable. The case was reversed and remanded, and Janky--facing tens of thousands of dollars in sanctions--seemed S.O.L. - LSW

Legal Issues
Civil Procedure Evidence Admissibility
Copyrights Infringement Reproduction & Distribution/Dissemination
  Ownership Assignments, Licenses & Renewal Rights
    Joint Authorship, Works-for-Hire & Derivative Creations
General Affirmative Defenses Tort Claims Act
  Equitable Actions Unjust Enrichment
  Equitable Defenses Waiver, Estoppel & Acquiescence
  Equitable Remedies Accounting
Torts Negligence General
Trademarks & Unfair Competition State Statute/Common Law Unfair Competition, False Advertising & Related Torts


Opinions Janky v. Lake County Convention & Visitors Bureau
576 F.3d 356
Seventh Circuit , August 03, 2009 ( Nos. 07-2350, 07-2762, 08-1606 )


Janky v. Lake County Convention & Visitors Bureau
2008 WL 3199998
N.D. Indiana , August 05, 2008 ( No. 3:05 CV 217 )


Janky v. Lake County Convention & Visitors Bureau
2007 WL 2413021
N.D. Indiana , August 20, 2007 ( No. 3:05 CV 217 )


Janky v. Lake County Convention & Visitors Bureau
2007 WL 2121926
N.D. Indiana , July 23, 2007 ( No. 3:05 CV 217 )


Janky v. Farag
2007 WL 1832118
N.D. Indiana , June 25, 2007 ( No. 3:05 CV 217 )


Janky v. Lake County Convention & Visitors Bureau
2007 WL 733902
N.D. Indiana , March 07, 2007 ( No. 3:05 CV 217 )


Janky v. Farag
79 U.S.P.Q.2d 1564 / 2006 WL 842391
N.D. Indiana , March 29, 2006 ( No. 3:05-CV-217-PRC )


Janky v. Lake County Convention & Visitors Bureau
2006 WL 2771019
N.D. Indiana , September 22, 2006 ( No. 3:05-CV-217-PRC )


Errors Do you see something that is not correct?
The Discography is an ongoing project. Some entries in the database are displayed in various stages of completion. If you see spelling or grammar issues, they are likely to be corrected in the near future as they're noticed by editors (they're on the "To Do" list, we promise). But If you notice errors regarding facts, legal conclusions, or other information, please contact us to let us know. We've done our best, but can't assure perfection. Thank you.


Related Searches Parties
Band Member(s) ( Defendant )
Individual(s) ( Defendant )
Lawyer(s) ( Defendant )
Nonprofit Organization(s) ( Defendant )
Record Label(s) ( Defendant )
Songwriter(s) ( Plaintiff )
Stormy Weather ( Other )

Legal Issues
Civil Procedure / Evidence / Admissibility
Copyrights / Infringement / Reproduction & Distribution/Dissemination
Copyrights / Ownership / Assignments, Licenses & Renewal Rights
Copyrights / Ownership / Joint Authorship, Works-for-Hire & Derivative Creations
General / Affirmative Defenses / Tort Claims Act
General / Equitable Actions / Unjust Enrichment
General / Equitable Defenses / Waiver, Estoppel & Acquiescence
General / Equitable Remedies / Accounting
Torts / Negligence / General
Trademarks & Unfair Competition / State Statute/Common Law / Unfair Competition, False Advertising & Related Torts

Courts
Seventh Circuit (highest court)
N.D. Indiana


permalink to this entry