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Songwriter: "Jovi Sox Ripped Me Off!" (I)
Highest Court D. Massachusetts
Year Ended 2010
Plaintiffs Songwriter(s)
Defendants A&E Television
Bon Jovi
Boston Red Sox
Fox Broadcasting
Individual(s)
Island Def Jam Records
Major League Baseball
Music Publisher(s)
Sony/ATV Music
TBS, Inc.
Television Producer(s)
Time Warner, Inc.
Universal Music
Universal-Polygram Music
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description Just prior to the Boston Red Sox's 2004 World Series win, Plaintiff composed a song called "Man I Really Love This Team," about the Sox, that gained popularity at Fenway Park and among the team's fans. Though Plaintiff wrote a derivative song from his first, called "Man I Really Love This Town," it was not copyrighted alongside the original. After the Red Sox won the series again in 2007, television station TBS aired a commercial about the Sox, featuring a song by Bon Jovi called "I Love This Town." Plaintiff sued everyone involved in the production and airing of the commercial, alleging copyright infringement, unfair competition under the Lanham Act, and several state law claims. His copyright claims were based on what he called "temp tracking," wherein the original song is used to produce an audiovisual work (e.g. the commercial), which is then used to create a new song (e.g., the Jovi tune). Thus, the final song may not have directly copied the original song, but indirectly. The court quickly held that this sort of action could not be based in the Lanham Act and that the state claims were preempted by the Copyright Act. On Defendants' motion for summary judgment, the court found that there was no musical or lyrical similarity between Plaintiff's "I Love This Team" and Defendants' song. Since Plaintiff never copyrighted "I Love This Town," it was not considered in the court's analysis. Furthermore, Plaintiff's "temp tracking" theory did not impress the court; there was vastly more similarities between Defendants' song and the TBS promo than between Plaintiff's song and the promo. After this ruling, Plaintiff moved for an entry of default against some of Defendants who had not answered his complaint, which the court denied; not only were the defaulting parties not named in the original complaint, but default would prejudice them. This holding was denied rehearing. Plaintiff did not give up; see also "Songwriter: 'Jovi Sox Ripped Me Off!' (II)" and "Songwriter: 'Jovi Sox Ripped Me Off!' (III)" - LSW

Legal Issues
Civil Procedure Default Judgments Entry & Enforcement
Copyrights Infringement Reproduction & Distribution/Dissemination
General Affirmative Defenses Federal Preemption
Trademarks & Unfair Competition Federal (Lanham Act) Unfair Competition, False Advertising & Related Torts


Opinions Steele v. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
2009 WL 3448698
D. Massachusetts , October 13, 2009 ( Civil Action No. 08-11727-NMG )


Steele v. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
607 F.Supp.2d 258
D. Massachusetts , April 03, 2009 ( Civil Action No. 08-11727-NMG )


Steele v. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
646 F.Supp.2d 185
D. Massachusetts , August 19, 2009 ( Civil Action No. 08-11727-NMG )


Steele v. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
746 F.Supp.2d 231
D. Massachusetts , September 27, 2010 ( Civil Action No. 08-11727-NMG )


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Related Searches Parties
A&E Television ( Defendant )
Bon Jovi ( Defendant )
Boston Red Sox ( Defendant )
Fox Broadcasting ( Defendant )
Individual(s) ( Defendant )
Island Def Jam Records ( Defendant )
Major League Baseball ( Defendant )
Music Publisher(s) ( Defendant )
Songwriter(s) ( Plaintiff )
Sony/ATV Music ( Defendant )
TBS, Inc. ( Defendant )
Television Producer(s) ( Defendant )
Time Warner, Inc. ( Defendant )
Universal Music ( Defendant )
Universal-Polygram Music ( Defendant )

Legal Issues
Civil Procedure / Default Judgments / Entry & Enforcement
Copyrights / Infringement / Reproduction & Distribution/Dissemination
General / Affirmative Defenses / Federal Preemption
Trademarks & Unfair Competition / Federal (Lanham Act) / Unfair Competition, False Advertising & Related Torts

Courts
D. Massachusetts (highest court)


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