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Songwriter: "R. Kelly Copied Me!"
Highest Court N.D. Illinois
Year Ended 2000
Plaintiffs Songwriter(s)
Defendants Atlantic Records
Individual(s)
Jive Records
Kelly, R.
Music Publisher(s)
Time Warner, Inc.
Warner Bros. Pictures
Warner-Chappell Music
Zomba Music
Zomba Records
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description Plaintiff is an unknown songwriter who sued R. Kelly and his record labels, producers, and music publishers, arguing that Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly," made famous on the "Space Jam" soundtrack, was copied from a song Plaintiff previously copyrighted with the same name. He sued for copyright infringement and various iterations of state and federal unfair competition and trademark laws. While Kelly's parties argued Plaintiff's non-copyright actions were preempted, the court held preemption was not the applicable doctrine to Lanham Act claims, but that, nevertheless, the Copyright Act is intended to encompass all actions within its own ambit. For valid federal unfair competition causes, Plaintiff needed to allege some affirmative misrepresentation beyond mere appropriation of copyrighted material, of which there were none. This is similar to the "extra element" test for preemption. The state actions, however, were preempted for precisely the same reason. The copyright claims were not reached, but all other counts were disposed by dismissal. - LSW

Legal Issues
Copyrights Infringement Copying & Distribution/Dissemination
General Affirmative Defenses Federal Preemption
Trademarks & Unfair Competition Federal (Lanham Act) Unfair Competition, False Advertising & Related Torts
  State Statute/Common Law Unfair & Deceptive Trade Practices
    Unfair Competition, False Advertising & Related Torts


Opinions Lacour v. Time Warner, Inc.
2000 Copr.L.Dec. P 28,108 / 2000 WL 688946
N.D. Illinois , May 24, 2000 ( No. 99 C 7105 )


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Related Searches Parties
Atlantic Records ( Defendant )
Individual(s) ( Defendant )
Jive Records ( Defendant )
Kelly, R. ( Defendant )
Music Publisher(s) ( Defendant )
Songwriter(s) ( Plaintiff )
Time Warner, Inc. ( Defendant )
Warner Bros. Pictures ( Defendant )
Warner-Chappell Music ( Defendant )
Zomba Music ( Defendant )
Zomba Records ( Defendant )

Legal Issues
Copyrights / Infringement / Copying & Distribution/Dissemination
General / Affirmative Defenses / Federal Preemption
Trademarks & Unfair Competition / Federal (Lanham Act) / Unfair Competition, False Advertising & Related Torts
Trademarks & Unfair Competition / State Statute/Common Law / Unfair & Deceptive Trade Practices
Trademarks & Unfair Competition / State Statute/Common Law / Unfair Competition, False Advertising & Related Torts

Courts
N.D. Illinois (highest court)


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