Los Angeles, CA – MGM’s copyright attorneys filed a copyright declaratory judgment of non-infringement lawsuit, under 28 U.S.C. § 2201, at the Federal District Court in Los Angeles. MGM is the successor in interest and owner of the copyrights in the 1987 live-action motion picture Snow White, which was registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. MGM asserts that defendant, Arik Rudich, is an individual now residing in Israel, who composed certain music and/or songs included in the picture, which picture MGM’s predecessor distributed to the home video market beginning in 1988 and MGM has continued such distribution.
The complaint alleges that almost twenty years after the picture’s first distribution, Rudich’s counsel sent a cease and desist letter to MGM accusing it of copyright infringement in music and demanding payment of publishing royalties. On May 9, 2008, defendant or his counsel issued a press release repeating claims against MGM and referencing another lawsuit filed against MGM by the same counsel. On June 5, 2008, defendant’s counsel once against sent a letter to MGM threatening a lawsuit if a response was not received. Thus, MGM filed the declaratory judgment lawsuit seeking declarations from the Court concerning, among other things, the following:
- Whether defendant wrote the songs as a work-for-hire or assigned all rights therein;
- Whether defendant granted a license to the songs to be used in connection with all forms of exploitation of the picture, including VHS and DVD;
- Whether defendant is entitled to any publishing royalties;
- Whether defendant’s claims are barred by the statute of limitations; and/or
- Whether defendant’s claims are barred by the doctrine of laches.
The case is titled Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Inc. v. Arik Rudich, CV 08-04143 JFW (C.D. Cal. 2008).