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Court Sweats Copyright Infringement

US celebrity fitness trainer, Tracy Anderson, has had her copyright infringement claim dismissed by a federal court in California.

Anderson filed claims against her former employee, Megan Roup and her new business The Sculpt Society, for copying exercise routines and choreography contained in her “TA Works” DVDs. This included her famous “Tracy Anderson Methods”, which feature in the footage.

The allegations surrounding the dispute include copyright infringement, breach of contract, and false advertising amongst other things.

Roup left Anderson’s employment in 2017 after 6 years and developed a celebrity clientele at her own fitness business, where she went on to produce highly similar exercise routines to those created by Anderson.

Roup has not disputed allegations of similarity between the workout routines. Rather, she argues that she has not infringed Anderson’s copyright, primarily because the exercises within the “TA Works” DVDs are non-copyrightable.

A federal court in California sided with Roup in their decision of 12 June 2024. They found Anderson’s workout routines to be unprotectable on the basis that methods are precluded from Copyright Protection. They did not need to look further than the name of Anderson’s exercise routines, “Tracy Anderson Methods”, to support this finding.

It is to be seen if Tracy Anderson will appeal the court’s decision.

If you have any questions on the above, feel free to contact a member of the team at 0191 281 4000 or alternatively at legal@mcdanielslaw.com.

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