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Coca-Copyright Case
Highest Court S.D. Florida
Year Ended 2011
Plaintiffs Vergara, Rafa
Defendants Coca-Cola
Other Bisbal, David
Short Description Rafa Vergara isn't as well known as the other names associated with this suit, but he is a very accomplished songwriter, producer, and performer, whose contributions to Latin stars like Marc Anthony and Jaci Velasquez have garnered significant success in the music business. Coca Cola, through Universal Music, contacted Vergara about adapting English lyrics by the artist K'naan into Spanish, to be sung by David Bisbal, for an upcoming Coca Cola advertisement during the 2010 FIFA World Cup Soccer Games. Vergara, with full permission, translated the lyrics and also produced the song. When Vergara sent a bill to Universal, they asked him to sign a document clarifying that his work was done "for hire," which means he did not own the copyright in his own contributions. Vergara brought suit, alleging copyright infringement and requesting a preliminary injunction preventing Coca-Cola from airing the commercial without proper attribution, as he was guaranteed. The court granted Vergara's request, finding that the work was not "for hire," and, further, that he was not a joint author but the sole author of the derivative composition. Irreparable harm was also likely without injunctive relief. However, summary judgment was later granted to Coke's on the copyright infringement claim, despite Vergara's contentions, because Vergara had, in writing, assigned his copyrights to Coke via email communications; the Copyright Act requires assignments to be in writing, and the communications met this requirement. Nonetheless, a preliminary injunction was upheld against Coke in a later opinion because the lack of attribution, which was plainly promised to Vergara, was still likely to cause harm. - LSW

Legal Issues
Civil Procedure Interlocutory Orders Preliminary Injunction
Copyrights Infringement Reproduction & Distribution/Dissemination
  Ownership Assignments, Licenses & Renewal Rights
    Joint Authorship, Works-for-Hire & Derivative Creations

Opinions Hermosilla v. Coca-Cola Co.
2011 WL 1089617
Eleventh Circuit , March 25, 2011 ( No. 10_12894 )

Vergara Hermosilla v. Coca-Cola Co.
2011 WL 744098
S.D. Florida , February 23, 2011 ( No. 10-21418-CIV )

Hermosilla v. Coca-Cola Co.
2010 WL 5437258
S.D. Florida , December 27, 2010 ( No. 10-21418-CIV )

Hermosilla v. Octoscope Music, LLC
2010 Copr.L.Dec. P 30,015 / 2010 WL 5059559
S.D. Florida , December 06, 2010 ( No. 10-21990-CIV )

Vergara Hermosilla v. The Coca-Cola Co.
717 F.Supp.2d 1297
S.D. Florida , June 02, 2010 ( No. 10-21418-CIV )

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Related Searches Parties
Bisbal, David ( Other )
Coca-Cola ( Defendant )
K'naan ( Other )
Vergara, Rafa ( Plaintiff )

Legal Issues
Civil Procedure / Interlocutory Orders / Preliminary Injunction
Copyrights / Infringement / Reproduction & Distribution/Dissemination
Copyrights / Ownership / Assignments, Licenses & Renewal Rights
Copyrights / Ownership / Joint Authorship, Works-for-Hire & Derivative Creations

S.D. Florida (highest court)
Eleventh Circuit

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