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16 Case Duse, LLC v. Merkin

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
791 F.3d 247 (2015)


Facts

Robert Krakovski owned production company 16 Case Duse, LLC (Krakovski) (plaintiff) and hired Alex Merkin (defendant) to direct a film. Krakovski entered work-for-hire agreements with all cast and crew members except Merkin. After Merkin finished filming, Krakovski gave him a copy of the unedited film footage and entered a “Media Agreement” allowing Merkin to edit but not distribute or copy it. When Krakovski began submitting the film to festivals, Merkin sent Krakovski cease-and-desist letters claiming copyrights to it. Krakovski sued to prevent Merkin’s interference. The trial court entered an injunction against Merkin and granted Krakovski summary judgment, reasoning that Krakovski never intended to share the film’s authorship with Merkin, and that Merkin himself never intended to coauthor the film. Merkin appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Sack, J.)

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