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Castle Rock Entertainment, Inc. v. Carol Publishing Group, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
150 F.3d 132 (1998)


Facts

Beth Golub (defendant) created a book of trivia questions about the television show Seinfeld. The book, called The Seinfeld Aptitude Test (the SAT), was published by Carol Publishing Group, Incorporated (Carol Publishing) (defendant). The SAT was 132 pages and included 643 questions sorted into five difficulty levels. The question formats included multiple choice, matching, and short answer. The question material came from all but two of the 86 episodes of Seinfeld that had aired prior to the SAT’s publication. All question scenarios came from the episodes, and many included direct quotes. Seinfeld’s broadcasting company reacted favorably to the SAT, but Castle Rock Entertainment, Incorporated (Castle Rock) (plaintiff), Seinfeld’s copyright owner, notified the defendants of its copyright and potential claims. However, the defendants did not cease distributing the SAT, and Castle Rock filed suit. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of    Castle Rock. Golub and Carol Publishing appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Walker, Jr., J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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