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Grandma Run Over by a Copyright?
Highest Court N.D. California
Year Ended 2011
Plaintiffs Music Publisher(s)
Shropshire, Elmo "Dr. Elmo"
Defendants Individual(s)
Other Brooks, Randy
Irish Rovers
Trigg, Patsy
Short Description Elmo Shropshire, better known as Dr. Elmo, is a comedic singer who most famously sang "Grandma Got Runover By a Reindeer," a song written by Randy Brooks, with his then-wife Patsy Trigg, in 1979. After a Canadian citizen, Defendant, uploaded a video onto YouTube featuring a re-recording of the song by a Canadian folk group, The Irish Rovers, synchronized to images of reindeer, Dr. Elmo contacted YouTube and requested the video be taken down, saying it constituted copyright infringement of the song Elmo co-owned. After Defendant submitted his counter-notice alleging his actions were "fair use," and YouTube sided with Defendant, Elmo sued YouTube and Defendant. He soon dismissed YouTube but maintained his action against Defendant, alleging copyright infringement and misrepresentation under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the latter based upon Defendant's counter-notice to YouTube. The court held, first, that no copyright infringement could be maintained because all the allegedly infringing activities took place in Canada. Regarding the DMCA, the court found that Defendant's compliance with DMCA takedown procedure conferred personal jurisdiction over Defendant, but that Plaintiff failed to specify any specific misrepresentations, and that Elmo's failure to join his ex-wife, Patsy, constituted a failure to join necessary parties. Though Plaintiff's DMCA claim was dismissed, he was allowed time to amend his complaint to address the deficiencies. - LSW

Legal Issues
Civil Procedure Third Party Claims Necessary Parties
Conflicts of Law Jurisdiction & Forum Personal Jurisdiction
    Subject Matter Jurisdiction
Copyrights Digital Millennium Copyright Act Misrepresentation
  Infringement Reproduction & Distribution/Dissemination


Opinions Elmo Shropshire v. Canning
97 U.S.P.Q.2d 1583 / 2011 WL 90136
N.D. California , January 11, 2011 ( No. 10-CV-01941-LHK )


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Related Searches Parties
Brooks, Randy ( Other )
Individual(s) ( Defendant )
Irish Rovers ( Other )
Music Publisher(s) ( Plaintiff )
Shropshire, Elmo "Dr. Elmo" ( Plaintiff )
Trigg, Patsy ( Other )

Legal Issues
Civil Procedure / Third Party Claims / Necessary Parties
Conflicts of Law / Jurisdiction & Forum / Personal Jurisdiction
Conflicts of Law / Jurisdiction & Forum / Subject Matter Jurisdiction
Copyrights / Digital Millennium Copyright Act / Misrepresentation
Copyrights / Infringement / Reproduction & Distribution/Dissemination

Courts
N.D. California (highest court)


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