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New Boston Television v. Entertainment Sports Programming Network

United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
215 U.S.P.Q. (BNA) 755 (1981)


New Boston Television (WSBK) (plaintiff) owned the exclusive right to broadcast Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins games. The Red Sox owned the copyright to the telecasts of its games, with WSBK owning one-half of the royalties. The Bruins and WSBK jointly controlled the copyright of telecasts of Bruins games. The Entertainment Sports Programming Network (ESPN) (defendant) rebroadcast excerpts of up to two minutes of WSBK’s telecasts—the highlights of the games—without the consent of WSBK or the teams. WSBK brought suit for copyright infringement. ESPN asserted the fair use defense. WSBK filed for an injunction.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Zobel, J.)

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