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The Robert Stigwood Group Limited v. Sperber

457 F.2d 50 (1972)

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The Robert Stigwood Group Limited v. Sperber

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

457 F.2d 50 (1972)

Facts

The Robert Stigwood Group Limited (Stigwood) (plaintiff) obtained the rights for stage productions of the popular rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar, which told the story of the last week in the life of Christ. Betty Sperber (defendant), doing business as The Original American Touring Company (OATC), presented concerts in which 20 of the 23 songs from Jesus Christ Superstar were performed, mostly in sequence but without costumes or scenery. As a licensee of the American Society of Composters, Artists and Producers (ASCAP), Sperber was authorized to present individual selections from the musical but not dramatic performances of the musical. Stigwood brought suit to enjoin the OATC performances. The district court granted an injunction, but the injunction covered only the use of direct references to Jesus Christ Superstar in advertisements for the OATC performances. Both parties appealed. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Kaufman, J.)

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