TreatiseTreatise

Substantial Similarity in Copyright Law

 by Robert C Osterberg, Eric C Osterberg
 
 Copyright: 2003-2014
 Last Updated: May 2014

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Product Details

  • ISBN Number: 1402403410
  • Page Count: 814
  • Number of Volumes: 1
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"In a complicated and confusing area, [Substantial Similarity in Copyright Law] is an eminently useful book. From the standpoint of a practitioner, there can be no higher praise.“
—Engage: The Journal of the Federalist Society’s Practice Groups

“A very useful guide to any attorney venturing into copyright litigation for the first time … The authors bring considerable skills and experience to their task … All in all, Substantial Similarity in Copyright Law deserves a prominent place on the shelf of any copyright specialist.”
—Texas Bar Journal


Substantial similarity is one of the most important and elusive concepts in copyright law. It is the key element that determines a central question in the field: What constitutes the wrongful copying of subject matter such as fiction, nonfiction, music, visual art, audiovisual works, and computer programs?

The first reference to fully discuss this pivotal subject, PLI’s Substantial Similarity in Copyright Law remains the clearest and most comprehensive reference to address it.

Covering the Copyright Act and key court decisions, Substantial Similarity in Copyright Law lucidly examines the principal substantial similarity tests used by the various circuit courts to assess whether the copying of specific subject matter is sufficient to support a conclusion of copyright infringement. Packed with illustrations from actual infringement cases, this wide-ranging reference enables you to see how this vital concept is practically applied in the particular jurisdiction in which you’re practicing, enhancing your ability to readily serve clients in copyright disputes.

Updated at least once a year, Substantial Similarity in Copyright Law is a practical, hard-working tool for copyright specialists and other intellectual property attorneys, an important guide for generalists who handle copyright cases, and useful reading for plaintiffs and defendants in copyright litigation.

  Preface Robert C. Osterberg ~ Retired; former senior partner, Abelman Frayne & Schwab
Eric C. Osterberg ~ Osterberg LLC
  Table of Contents Robert C. Osterberg ~ Retired; former senior partner, Abelman Frayne & Schwab
Eric C. Osterberg ~ Osterberg LLC
Chapter 1: The Meaning and Significance of Substantial Similarity Robert C. Osterberg ~ Retired; former senior partner, Abelman Frayne & Schwab
Eric C. Osterberg ~ Osterberg LLC
  • § 1:1 : Substantial Similarity As an Element of Copyright Infringement1-1
  • § 1:2 : Probative Similarity Distinguished1-5
  • § 1:3 : Striking Similarity Distinguished1-8
Chapter 2: Principles of Substantial Similarity Robert C. Osterberg ~ Retired; former senior partner, Abelman Frayne & Schwab
Eric C. Osterberg ~ Osterberg LLC
  • § 2:1 : De Minimis Threshold2-2
  • § 2:2 : Similarities Must Be Found in Protected Material2-4
  • § 2:3 : Unprotected Material2-6
    • § 2:3.1 : Ideas2-6
    • § 2:3.2 : Facts2-11
    • § 2:3.3 : Scènes à Faire2-12
    • § 2:3.4 : Clichés, Slogans, and Other Short Passages2-14
    • § 2:3.5 : Uncopyrighted Copyrightable Materials2-17
    • § 2:3.6 : Titles2-18
    • § 2:3.7 : Quotations and Other Copied Material2-19
    • § 2:3.8 : Elements Found in Nature2-19
  • § 2:4 : Quantitative–Qualitative Standard2-20
  • § 2:5 : Two Kinds of Similarities2-23
    • § 2:5.1 : Verbatim Similarities and Paraphrases2-24
    • § 2:5.2 : Total Concept and Feel2-29
  • § 2:6 : Dissimilarities2-35
  • § 2:7 : Intermediate Copying2-37
Chapter 3: Tests for Substantial Similarity Robert C. Osterberg ~ Retired; former senior partner, Abelman Frayne & Schwab
Eric C. Osterberg ~ Osterberg LLC
  • § 3:1 : Ordinary Observer and More Discerning Ordinary Observer3-3
    • § 3:1.1 : Second Circuit3-3
      • [A] : Ordinary Observer Test3-4
      • [B] : More Discerning Ordinary Observer Test3-5
      • [C] : The Sliding Scale of Access and Probative Similarity3-7
      • [D] : Summary Judgment, Motions to Dismiss, and Preliminary Injunction3-8
    • § 3:1.2 : First Circuit3-9
      • [A] : Summary Judgment and Preliminary Injunction3-12
    • § 3:1.3 : Third Circuit3-12
      • [A] : Summary Judgment, Motions to Dismiss, and Preliminary Injunction3-16
      • [B] : Special Test for Complex Subjects Including Computer Programs3-16
    • § 3:1.4 : Fifth Circuit3-17
      • [A] : Summary Judgment, Motions to Dismiss, and Preliminary Injunction3-18
    • § 3:1.5 : Seventh Circuit3-19
      • [A] : The Role of Access and the Inverse Ratio Rule3-21
      • [B] : Summary Judgment and Preliminary Injunction3-21
  • § 3:2 : Extrinsic/Intrinsic Test3-22
    • § 3:2.1 : Ninth Circuit3-22
      • [A] : Origin of the Extrinsic/Intrinsic Test3-22
      • [B] : Evolution of the Extrinsic/Intrinsic Test3-24
      • [C] : Analytic Dissection As Part of the Extrinsic Test3-24
      • [D] : Intermediate Steps Between Krofft and Shaw3-26
      • [E] : The Role of Access and the Inverse Ratio Rule3-26
      • [F] : Summary Judgment Under the Extrinsic/Intrinsic Test3-27
      • [G] : Preliminary Injunctions Under the Ninth Circuit Test3-31
      • [H] : Difficulties in Applying the Extrinsic/Intrinsic Test3-31
      • [I] : Motions to Dismiss3-32
    • § 3:2.2 : Fourth Circuit3-32
      • [A] : Intended Audience Test3-33
      • [B] : Intended Audience in Computer Cases3-36
      • [C] : Intended Audience for Works Marketed to Children3-37
      • [D] : Intended Audience Versus Ordinary Observer3-39
      • [E] : Advantages and Disadvantages of the Intended Audience Test3-39
      • [F] : Summary Judgment, Motion to Dismiss, and Preliminary Injunction3-40
    • § 3:2.3 : Eighth Circuit3-40
      • [A] : Summary Judgment, Motion to Dismiss, and Preliminary Injunction3-41
  • § 3:3 : Abstraction-Filtration-Comparison3-42
    • § 3:3.1 : Tenth Circuit3-42
      • [A] : Summary Judgment and Preliminary Injunction3-46
    • § 3:3.2 : Sixth Circuit3-46
      • [A] : Summary Judgment, Motion to Dismiss, and Preliminary Injunction3-50
    • § 3:3.3 : D.C. Circuit3-50
      • [A] : Summary Judgment and Preliminary Injunction3-51
  • § 3:4 : Eleventh Circuit3-52
    • § 3:4.1 : Summary Judgment and Preliminary Injunction3-55
  • § 3:5 : Federal Circuit3-55
  • § 3:6 : Preliminary Injunction Standards3-56
Chapter 4: Fictional Literary and Dramatic Works Robert C. Osterberg ~ Retired; former senior partner, Abelman Frayne & Schwab
Eric C. Osterberg ~ Osterberg LLC
  • § 4:1 : Unprotectable Elements4-2
  • § 4:2 : Plot and Sequence of Events4-4
  • § 4:3 : Dialogue4-8
  • § 4:4 : Characters4-9
  • § 4:5 : Theme4-10
  • § 4:6 : Mood4-11
  • § 4:7 : Setting4-11
  • § 4:8 : Pace4-12
  • § 4:9 : Total Concept and Feel4-13
Chapter 5: Characters Robert C. Osterberg ~ Retired; former senior partner, Abelman Frayne & Schwab
Eric C. Osterberg ~ Osterberg LLC
  • § 5:1 : Character Copyrightability5-1
  • § 5:2 : Visual Depictions Versus Descriptions5-3
  • § 5:3 : Proper Test for Infringement5-5
  • § 5:4 : Abstract Similarities Are Not Sufficient5-7
  • § 5:5 : Dissection Is Improper5-9
  • § 5:6 : Trivial Similarities Are Not Substantial Similarities5-10
  • § 5:7 : Characters May Be Split or Combined5-10
Chapter 6: Nonfiction Robert C. Osterberg ~ Retired; former senior partner, Abelman Frayne & Schwab
Eric C. Osterberg ~ Osterberg LLC
  • § 6:1 : Factual Works Generally6-1
  • § 6:2 : Textbooks, Tests, and Other Educational Materials6-4
    • § 6:2.1 : Textbooks6-4
    • § 6:2.2 : Tests6-5
  • § 6:3 : Docudramas and Other Fact-Based Works6-6
  • § 6:4 : Television Game Shows and Other Unscripted Programs6-7
  • § 6:5 : Reality Television6-10
Chapter 7: Audiovisual Works Robert C. Osterberg ~ Retired; former senior partner, Abelman Frayne & Schwab
Eric C. Osterberg ~ Osterberg LLC
  • § 7:1 : General Principles7-1
  • § 7:2 : Similarities Among Story Elements7-3
  • § 7:3 : Similarities Among Audiovisual Elements7-5
  • § 7:4 : Similarities Among Both Story and Audiovisual Elements7-7
Chapter 8: Computer Programs Robert C. Osterberg ~ Retired; former senior partner, Abelman Frayne & Schwab
Eric C. Osterberg ~ Osterberg LLC
  • § 8:1 : Computer Programs: Literary and Audiovisual Works8-1
  • § 8:2 : Infringement of the Literary Work8-2
  • § 8:3 : Infringement of the Audiovisual Work8-3
  • § 8:4 : Infringement of the Compilation8-4
  • § 8:5 : Test for Infringement: Abstraction/Filtration/Comparison8-6
    • § 8:5.1 : Abstraction8-7
    • § 8:5.2 : Filtration8-9
      • [A] : Distinguishing Between the Process and the Expression of the Process8-10
      • [B] : Commands and Sequences: Process or Expression?8-12
      • [C] : Idea-Expression Merger8-13
      • [D] : Elements Dictated By Efficiency8-13
      • [E] : Elements Dictated By Extrinsic Concerns8-15
      • [F] : Public Domain and Scènes à Faire8-16
    • § 8:5.3 : Comparison8-18
  • § 8:6 : Third Circuit’s Whelan Test8-19
  • § 8:7 : Ordinary Observer Test and Computer Expert’s Role8-19
  • § 8:8 : Intended Audience Test8-22
  • § 8:9 : Applying Abstraction/Filtration/Comparison to Other Types of Works8-22
  • § 8:10 : Computer Games8-23
Chapter 9: Musical Works and Sound Recordings Robert C. Osterberg ~ Retired; former senior partner, Abelman Frayne & Schwab
Eric C. Osterberg ~ Osterberg LLC
  • § 9:1 : Musical Works9-2
    • § 9:1.1 : Lyrics9-3
    • § 9:1.2 : Music9-6
  • § 9:3 : Sound Recordings9-13
  • § 9:4 : Sampling9-14
    • § 9:4.1 : Bridgeport Music, Inc. v. Dimension Films9-16
      • [A] : The Facts in Bridgeport9-17
      • [B] : The District Court Opinion9-18
      • [C] : The Sixth Circuit Opinion9-19
        • [C][1] : The Reason Substantial Similarity Is Not a Requirement9-20
        • [C][2] : The Reason the De Minimis Principle Does Not Apply9-21
        • [C][3] : Other Factors Contributing to the Panel’s Decision9-21
      • [D] : Analysis9-23
        • [D][1] : Case Law9-23
        • [D][2] : Statutory Construction9-26
          • [D][2][a] : Significant History9-26
          • [D][2][b] : The Relevant Provisions of the Copyright Act9-28
            • [D][2][b][i] : Section 101 (17 U.S.C. § 101)9-28
            • [D][2][b][ii] : Section 102 (17 U.S.C. § 102)9-30
            • [D][2][b][iii] : Section 106 (17 U.S.C. § 106)9-33
            • [D][2][b][iv] : Section 114 (17 U.S.C. § 114)9-34
        • [D][3] : Policy and Other Concerns9-36
          • [D][3][a] : Perceived Benefit to the Music Industry9-36
          • [D][3][b] : Effect on Creativity9-37
          • [D][3][c] : Perceived Benefit to Musicians9-37
          • [D][3][d] : Sampler Culpability9-37
        • [D][4] : Commentator’s Views9-38
        • [D][5] : Fair Use Implications9-39
Chapter 10: Works of Visual Art Robert C. Osterberg ~ Retired; former senior partner, Abelman Frayne & Schwab
Eric C. Osterberg ~ Osterberg LLC
  • § 10:1 : Photographs10-1
  • § 10:2 : Illustrations and Paintings10-9
  • § 10:3 : Sculpture10-13
  • § 10:4 : Jewelry10-15
  • § 10:5 : Fabric, Carpet, and Wallcovering Designs10-17
    • § 10:5.1 : Overall Appearance10-18
    • § 10:5.2 : Individual Shapes and Items10-20
    • § 10:5.3 : Layout10-22
    • § 10:5.4 : Color10-22
    • § 10:5.5 : Selection, Coordination, and Arrangement10-23
    • § 10:5.6 : Proper Scrutiny10-26
  • § 10:6 : Dolls10-26
  • § 10:7 : Stuffed Animals10-32
  • § 10:8 : Maps10-36
Chapter 11: Architectural Works Robert C. Osterberg ~ Retired; former senior partner, Abelman Frayne & Schwab
Eric C. Osterberg ~ Osterberg LLC
  • § 11:1 : Generally11-1
  • § 11:2 : Treatment of Specific Elements11-7
  • § 11:3 : Limits on Protection of Architectural Works11-9
Chapter 12: Choreography Robert C. Osterberg ~ Retired; former senior partner, Abelman Frayne & Schwab
Eric C. Osterberg ~ Osterberg LLC
Chapter 13: Compilations and Collective Works Robert C. Osterberg ~ Retired; former senior partner, Abelman Frayne & Schwab
Eric C. Osterberg ~ Osterberg LLC
  • § 13:1 : Definitions and Parameters of Protection13-1
  • § 13:2 : “Narrowed” Substantial Similarity13-3
  • § 13:3 : Selection13-4
  • § 13:4 : Arrangement13-8
  • § 13:5 : Computer Databases13-10
  • § 13:6 : Short-Cut Proof13-11
  • § 13:7 : Common Defenses13-12
  • § 13:8 : Various Types of Compilations13-12
Chapter 14: Works in Different Media and Different Formats Robert C. Osterberg ~ Retired; former senior partner, Abelman Frayne & Schwab
Eric C. Osterberg ~ Osterberg LLC
Chapter 15: Derivative Works Robert C. Osterberg ~ Retired; former senior partner, Abelman Frayne & Schwab
Eric C. Osterberg ~ Osterberg LLC
  • § 15:1 : Definition of Derivative Work15-2
  • § 15:2 : Comparison of Accused Work to Derivative Work15-5
  • § 15:3 : Comparison of Accused Derivative Work to a Preexisting Work15-7
Chapter 16: Useful Articles Robert C. Osterberg ~ Retired; former senior partner, Abelman Frayne & Schwab
Eric C. Osterberg ~ Osterberg LLC
Chapter 17: Selected Trial Issues Robert C. Osterberg ~ Retired; former senior partner, Abelman Frayne & Schwab
Eric C. Osterberg ~ Osterberg LLC
  • § 17:1 : Expert Opinion17-1
  • § 17:2 : Lay Opinion and Audience Reaction17-8
  • § 17:3 : Surveys17-9
  • § 17:4 : Issue Preclusion17-10
Chapter 18: Appellate Review Robert C. Osterberg ~ Retired; former senior partner, Abelman Frayne & Schwab
Eric C. Osterberg ~ Osterberg LLC
Appendix A: Works Compared Robert C. Osterberg ~ Retired; former senior partner, Abelman Frayne & Schwab
Eric C. Osterberg ~ Osterberg LLC
Appendix B: Jury Instructions Robert C. Osterberg ~ Retired; former senior partner, Abelman Frayne & Schwab
Eric C. Osterberg ~ Osterberg LLC
  Table of Cases Robert C. Osterberg ~ Retired; former senior partner, Abelman Frayne & Schwab
Eric C. Osterberg ~ Osterberg LLC
  Defendant-Plaintiff Table Robert C. Osterberg ~ Retired; former senior partner, Abelman Frayne & Schwab
Eric C. Osterberg ~ Osterberg LLC
  Index Robert C. Osterberg ~ Retired; former senior partner, Abelman Frayne & Schwab
Eric C. Osterberg ~ Osterberg LLC

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