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Jorgensen v. Epic/Sony Records

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
351 F.3d 46 (2d Cir. 2003)


Facts

Jorgensen (plaintiff) copyrighted “Long Lost Lover” (“Lover”) and sent unsolicited mailings of the song to entertainment companies. Jorgensen claimed his copyright was infringed by “My Heart Will Go On” (“Heart”), by James Horner and Will Hennings, and “Amazed,” by Chris Lindsey, Aimee Mayo, and Marv Green. Jorgensen, acting pro se, sued Famous Music Corporation, Fox Film Music Corporation, Blue Rider Songs, and Sony Music Entertainment (Sony) (defendants), who co-published, manufactured, and distributed “Heart,” and Careers BMG Music Publishing (BMG), Songs of Nashville Dreamworks, and Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. (defendants), who held publishing rights for “Amazed.” Jorgensen claimed he established the defendants’ access to “Lover” by his mass mailings and proof that two executives—Bruce Pollack of BMG and Harvey Leeds of Sony—actually received his tapes. Pollack claimed he received but never shared the tape or met the writers of “Amazed.” Leeds admitted receiving the tape, but said he never listened to it. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court concluded Jorgensen had not proved that anyone other than BMG and Sony had received the tapes, and further, the “bare corporate receipt” by BMG and Sony did not demonstrate a reasonable opportunity for the writers of “Heart” and “Amazed” to hear and copy the work. The district court did not consider evidence that Leeds and his assistants told Jorgensen the tape had been forwarded to another Sony department. The district court granted summary judgment to all defendants. Jorgensen appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Straub, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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