2005 Bridgeport Abridged

2005 Bridgeport Abridged - BRIDGEPORT MUSIC, INC. v....

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1 BRIDGEPORT MUSIC, INC. v. DIMENSION FILMS 410 F.3d 792 (6 th Cir. 2005) Plaintiffs, Bridgeport Music, Inc., Westbound Records, Inc., Southfield Music, Inc., and Nine Records, Inc., appeal from several of the district court's findings with respect to the copyright in- fringement claims asserted against No Limit Films. This action arises out of the use of a sample from the composition and sound recording "Get Off Your Ass and Jam" ("Get Off") in the rap song "100 Miles and Runnin'" ("100 Miles"), which was included in the sound track of the movie I Got the Hook Up (Hook Up ). Specifically, Westbound appeals from the district court's decision to grant summary judgment to defendant on the grounds that the alleged infringement was de minimis and therefore not actionable. Bridgeport, while not appealing from the summary judgment order, chal- lenges instead the denial of its motion to amend the complaint to assert new claims of infringement based on a different song included in the sound track of Hook Up . Finally, Bridgeport, Southfield, and Nine Records appeal from the decision to award attorney fees and costs totaling $ 41,813.30 to No Limit Films under 17 U.S.C. §505. For the reasons that follow, we reverse the district court's grant of summary judgment to No Limit on Westbound's claim of infringement of its sound record- ing copyright, but affirm the decision of the district court as to the award of attorney fees and the denial of Bridgeport's motion to amend. I. The claims at issue in this appeal were originally asserted in an action filed on May 4, 2001, by the related entities Bridgeport Music, Southfield Music, Westbound Records, and Nine Records, alleging nearly 500 counts against approximately 800 defendants for copyright infringement and various state law claims relating to the use of samples without permission in new rap recordings. In August 2001, the district court severed that original complaint into 476 separate actions, this being one of them, based on the allegedly infringing work and ordered that amended complaints be filed. The claims in this case were brought by all four plaintiffs: Bridgeport and Southfield, which are in the business of music publishing and exploiting musical composition copyrights, and Westbound Records and Nine Records, which are in the business of recording and distributing sound record- ings. It was conceded at the time of summary judgment, however, that neither [*796] Southfield Music nor Nine Records had any ownership interest in the copyrights at issue in this case. As a re- sult, the district court ordered that they be jointly and severally liable for 10% of the attorney fees and costs awarded to No Limit Films. Bridgeport and Westbound claim to own the musical composition and sound recording copy-
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2005 Bridgeport Abridged - BRIDGEPORT MUSIC, INC. v....

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