Friday, December 8, 2023

JahJah Gordon Copyright Case Dismissed; Expert Testimony Bankrupt

I received three e-mails and one text message today asking why we hadn’t posted on the Gordon v. McGinley decision. Our answer, everybody calm down. First of all, it’s not that interesting of a case, and second of all, it borders on frivolous. This is the kind of case that anti-copyright schizophrenics love because (a) it “proves” (to them) that copyright stagnates culture and (2) that the “right” party won (read: the one anti-copyright schizos were rooting for).

But just in case you want a little nugget from the judge’s head, here it is,

[T]he dictates of good eyes and common sense lead inexorably to the conclusion that there is no substantial similarity between Plaintiff’s works and the allegedly infringing compositions of McGinley.

But my favorite is this one. Highlighting that although anyone can be an expert in the field of art, Judge Sullivan pulls no punches when he calls out Dan Cameron:

the substance of the expert affidavits simply underscores the infirmity of Plaintiff’s infringement claim. Several experts profess a belief that Plaintiff should prevail in this action while disavowing any familiarity with copyright law.

Basically (and rightly) concluding,

What is clear from the foregoing expert testimony is not that Plaintiff should prevail in this action, but that the remedy for the instant dispute lies in the court of public or expert opinion and not the federal district court.

It seems that Federal judges are having a field day with artists and art “experts” lately (Richard Prince and Dan Cameron respectively). With ducks lining up in a row, who can blame them?

The opinion is available here.


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