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No. 1:18-cv-06723 (N.D. Ill. 2018)

 

​Complaining Work

​Defending Work

Brighter Sky Productions, LLC; Dan Tramon; Diana Belkowski; and Carl Anthony Tramon

“Rocket Boys Musical”

Audio Recording

Marriott International, Inc; and Universal Pictures

“October Sky Musical”

Audio Recording

Comment by Charles Cronin

The Complaint is a hodgepodge of allegations ranging from music and literary copyright infringement, to trademark infringement and Lanham Act claims of unfair competition. Presumably Plaintiffs hope this scattershot approach enhances chances of the court taking notice of at least one of them. It shouldn’t. In their Motion to Dismiss Defendants have dismantled all the Plaintiffs’ copyright infringement allegations based on nothing more than common elements shared between two works that were derived from a single source both parties were authorized to use.

 

The audio clips above are simply musical samples taken from the two works — not clips from any two songs the Plaintiff alleges share substantially similar musical expression. (In my opinion the music in both is insipid: The Plaintiffs blowzily awkward and overwrought in an amateurish performance/production; the Defendants a hackneyed musical trope a la Aaron Copeland, used endlessly in movies conjure rural America of years ago.) It doesn’t matter given that the Plaintiffs’ imprecise support for their claims of music infringement renders them meaningless, e.g., “rhythmic patterns and melodic motifs are substantially similar;”  these songs are exactly the same in concept;” “these songs are similar in both theme and tone.”

 

March 16th, 2020 the District Court issued and Order postponing proceedings in light of the Covid 19 pandemic.

 

Complaint: PDF

Amended complaint: PDF

Memo in Support of Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss: PDF