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Bootlegged 70s Records Busted! (I)
Highest Court S.D. New York
Year Ended 1984
Plaintiffs Casablanca Records
CBS, Inc.
Elektra/Asyum/Nonesuch Records
MCA Records
RCA, Inc.
RSO Records
Warner Bros. Records
Defendants Bootlegger(s)/Counterfeiter(s)
Other Bee Gees
Clapton, Eric
Denver, John
Gibb, Andy
Loggins, Kenny
Lynyrd Skynyrd
Meat Loaf
Newton-John, Olivia
Rondstadt, Linda
Springsteen, Bruce (and the E Street Band)
Village People
Short Description The Plaintiffs were a group of producers, manufacturers, and distributors suing for copyright infringement because of counterfeiting records of, among other 1970s stars, Bee Gees, Kiss, Boston, Kenny Loggins, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Who, and John Denver. The Defendants were the officers and manufacturer of records and the company that prepared the images and labels used in the records' packaging. The Plaintiffs complained that the Defendants violated the Copyright Act in two ways. First, the Defendants made counterfeit copies of the records by creating a "stamper" (a new master, essentially) by taping the legit record. Second, the Defendants copied the "graphics" used as the label and packaging, and cardboard boxes for cassettes. The Defendants would take pictures of the legit graphics and make a "color separation." This is a set of photographs in different colors that are used in making the four-color printed copies of the legit graphics. There was no doubt that the counterfeit records were infringing, but the court then wrestled with the copied graphics. The FBI had gathered large amounts of evidence of the willful nature of the counterfeiting and color separations. The Defendants argued there was insufficient evidence to show infringement on the graphics because some of the separations were useless. The Court noted the separations were still being created when the agents halted the operation. The Court relied on the defendants invocation of the Fifth Amendment and the fact that the main use of the separations was in printing these type of graphics. The Court then found that most of the individual defendants were personally involved in the aspects of the operation. To be held liable, the defendant must be shown to be personally involved or have the right/ability to supervise the infringement. The Court finally examined the issue of damages. The Plaintiffs were entitled statutory damages or actual damages plus the defendants' profits. The Court looked at the evidence for actual damages, noting that there was a lack of detail and accurate information to determine which Plaintiffs suffered what. The Court awarded the maximum damages noting that would achieve the purpose of compensation and deterrence. - JMC

Legal Issues
Copyrights Infringement Inducement & Contributory/Vicarious Liability
    Reproduction & Distribution/Dissemination

Opinions RSO Records, Inc. v. Peri
596 F.Supp. 849
S.D. New York , October 24, 1984 ( No. 79 Civ. 5098-CSH )

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Related Searches Parties
Bee Gees ( Other )
Bootlegger(s)/Counterfeiter(s) ( Defendant )
Boston ( Other )
Casablanca Records ( Plaintiff )
CBS, Inc. ( Plaintiff )
Clapton, Eric ( Other )
Denver, John ( Other )
Elektra/Asyum/Nonesuch Records ( Plaintiff )
Gibb, Andy ( Other )
Kansas ( Other )
KISS ( Other )
Loggins, Kenny ( Other )
Lynyrd Skynyrd ( Other )
MCA Records ( Plaintiff )
Meat Loaf ( Other )
Newton-John, Olivia ( Other )
RCA, Inc. ( Plaintiff )
Rondstadt, Linda ( Other )
RSO Records ( Plaintiff )
Springsteen, Bruce (and the E Street Band) ( Other )
Village People ( Other )
Warner Bros. Records ( Plaintiff )
Who ( Other )

Legal Issues
Copyrights / Infringement / Inducement & Contributory/Vicarious Liability
Copyrights / Infringement / Reproduction & Distribution/Dissemination

S.D. New York (highest court)

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