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Avengers Want Vengeance
Highest Court N.D. California
Year Ended 2010
Plaintiffs Avengers
Defendants Music Executive(s)
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description The Avengers were a first-wave American punk rock band, active in the late 1970s in San Francisco, where they famously opened for the Sex Pistols at the Pistols' last show. The Avengers' lead singer, Penelope Houston, had a rather impressive solo career thereafter, releasing several major label albums during the 1990s. This case concerns the distribution of the band's retrospective, usually called "The Pink Album," which was released by Defendant's record label in the early 1990s and sold around 100,000 copies. Plaintiffs, former members of the band, alleged that Defendant never paid Plaintiffs royalties from "Pink," and that they rescinded the agreement, meaning he had no rights to distribute the recordings anymore; that Plaintiffs terminated their publishing agreements with Defendant, but Defendant continues to exploit the songs; that Defendant had no right to distribute copies of their performance from the Pistol's last show; and that Defendant made false representations to third parties in securing distribution. The band sued for copyright infringement, fraud, conversion, and various forms of declaratory relief. The court dismissed Plaintiffs' claims for declaration of copyright ownership, finding they were duplicative of copyright infringement claims, but allowed the band's declaratory judgment regarding Defendant's release of their concert album, saying the claim was not preempted by the Copyright Act, but was an issue of contract. Claims for fraud were dismissed as not properly pleaded, as were claims for conversion, because no actual property was pinpointed as being converted. Plaintiffs' infringement claims were not at issue in this opinion. - LSW

Legal Issues
Copyrights Infringement Reproduction & Distribution/Dissemination
  Ownership Declaratory Judgment
General Affirmative Defenses Federal Preemption
Torts Economic Torts Fraud, Misrepresentation & Inducement
  Property Torts Conversion

Opinions Houston v. Ferguson
2010 Copr.L.Dec. P 29,995 / 2010 WL 4393873
N.D. California , October 29, 2010 ( No. C 10-01881 JSW )

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Related Searches Parties
Avengers ( Plaintiff )
Music Executive(s) ( Defendant )

Legal Issues
Copyrights / Infringement / Reproduction & Distribution/Dissemination
Copyrights / Ownership / Declaratory Judgment
General / Affirmative Defenses / Federal Preemption
Torts / Economic Torts / Fraud, Misrepresentation & Inducement
Torts / Property Torts / Conversion

N.D. California (highest court)

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