Mar 9, 2017

Cher Seeks To Dismiss Accusations Of Copyright Infringement

Lawyers acting for Cher have filed a motion to dismiss against a copyright infringement claim brought against her by Moshik Nadav over the artwork and graphics which appear on her recent album Closer To The Truth.

Nadav, a US based typography designer, is seeking $5 million in damages, alleging that two logos which appear on Cher's album infringe on the copyrights to the typography designs Paris and Paris Pro. Nadav has alleged that the two logos were created using these typography designs.

Under US law typeface and variations on lettering do not constitute material which can gain copyright protection. Thus, to get around this, Nadav's claim alleges that the logos used on Cher's album are substantially similar to the Paris and Paris Pro logos which Nadav holds a copyright over and that therefore an infringement has still occurred.

However, Nadav's workaround may not be successful as, under US law, when examining work which contains both protectable and non-protectable elements, one must look to the whether the protectable elements alone are substantially similar.  Cher's lawyers have therefore made clear that the logos could not be substantially similar given that they only share the use of the letter 'r'.

Should Nadav's claim be successful in overcoming Cher's motion to dismiss, it will then face questions over the ownership and originality of the copyrightable elements and be subject to a more rigours similarity test should it reach trial.

Nadav has also alleged that two of the defendants in his claim have copied font software in order to copy original elements in Nadav's logos.  Yet this allegation may also prove unsuccessful given that Nadav did not secure the copyright registration for the software in question prior to bringing the claim and its allegations.

All things considered Nadav's claim would appear to be rather hopeless, even if the case is not dismissed at this stage. This is a salutary lesson that you have to be sure of your rights prior to commencing any action to be sure that they will stand up to the scrutiny that the litigation process will place them under.

in: Copyright, News

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