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Liberace Licensee vs. Film
Highest Court D. New Jersey
Year Ended 1992
Plaintiffs Music Merchandiser(s)
Trust of Artist(s)
Defendants Film Distributor(s)
Film Producer(s)
Other Liberace
Short Description Plaintiff is the trust established upon the death of Wladziu Valentino Liberace, better know simply by his last name "Liberace," whose over-the top style and performances made him incredibly popular among middle-aged women and gay men (though he always denied he was among the latter). In this case, the trust sued a third party that had been illicitly reproducing and distributing videos containing Liberace's arrangements and performances of Liszt's 14th Hungarian Rhapsody, Liszt's Concerto, Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 and the Moonlight Sonata. Plaintiff sued for copyright infringement, trademark infringement, and violation of rights of publicity. After obtaining a default judgment against Defendants, the court upheld the copyright infringement finding, but held the other actions overcome by Defendants' inclusion of a brief statement of non-association preceding the performances. The court found actual damages of $35,000, but granted Plaintiff $60,000 on account of Defendants' willfulness. Plaintiff's request for the full statutory damage amount of $400,000 ($100k per performance infringed) was denied. $60,000 is enough to teach Defendants a lesson. - LSW

Legal Issues
Civil Procedure Default Judgments Entry & Enforcement
Copyrights Infringement Reproduction & Distribution/Dissemination
Trademarks & Unfair Competition Federal (Lanham Act) Unfair Competition, False Advertising & Related Torts
  State Statute/Common Law Right of Publicity
    Unfair Competition, False Advertising & Related Torts


Opinions Trustee of Liberace Revocable Trust v. Silver Screen Video, Inc.
25 U.S.P.Q.2d 1938 / 1992 WL 349629
D. New Jersey , December 22, 1992 ( No. 92-1177 )


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Related Searches Parties
Film Distributor(s) ( Defendant )
Film Producer(s) ( Defendant )
Liberace ( Other )
Music Merchandiser(s) ( Plaintiff )
Trust of Artist(s) ( Plaintiff )

Legal Issues
Civil Procedure / Default Judgments / Entry & Enforcement
Copyrights / Infringement / Reproduction & Distribution/Dissemination
Trademarks & Unfair Competition / Federal (Lanham Act) / Unfair Competition, False Advertising & Related Torts
Trademarks & Unfair Competition / State Statute/Common Law / Right of Publicity
Trademarks & Unfair Competition / State Statute/Common Law / Unfair Competition, False Advertising & Related Torts

Courts
D. New Jersey (highest court)


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