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Columbia Pictures Television v. Krypton Broadcasting of Birmingham, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
106 F.3d 284 (1997)


Facts

Columbia Pictures Television (Columbia) (plaintiff) licensed several television series to three television stations. The three television stations were owned by Krypton Broadcasting of Birmingham, Inc. (Krypton) (defendant), which was owned by C. Elvin Feltner (defendant). The television stations got behind in their payments, and Columbia tried to terminate the stations’ licenses. The stations continued airing the television shows. Columbia sued Krypton and Feltner for copyright infringement. The district court granted summary judgment for Columbia, awarding Columbia total statutory damages of $8,800,000. Feltner and Krypton appealed. On appeal, the defendants argued that: (1) for purposes of statutory damages, the television stations should be considered a single infringer rather than treated as separate infringers, and (2) statutory damages should be awarded only for each infringed television series, not for the individual episodes of each series.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Brunetti, 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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