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Murphy v. Millennium Radio Group, LLC

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
650 F.3d 295 (2011)


New Jersey Monthly (NJM) hired Murphy (plaintiff) to take photographs of two local radio hosts for a feature spread in the magazine. The hosts, Craig Carton and Ray Ross, were photographed to appear naked behind the radio station’s sign, as a visual representation of their designation as the best shock jocks in New Jersey. The radio station, WKXW (defendant), was owned by Millennium Radio Group, LLC (Millennium) (defendant). When Murphy’s image was published in NJM, it appeared with a photo credit to Murphy running in the gutter of the page next to the image. One of WKXW’s employees made a copy of Murphy’s image, excluding the photo credit, and posted it to the station’s website as part of a promotional effort. The station never received permission to publish Murphy’s image. Murphy sued WKXW and Millennium (defendants) under 17 U.S.C. § 1202 for publishing a copy of the photo without including the photo credit. The defendants moved for summary judgment based on a reading of § 1202 that incorporates § 1201 and requires copyright-management information to be included with the work as part of an automated copyright-management system for the work to receive protection against removal. The district court granted the defendants’ motion.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Fuentes, J.)

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