Ray Manzarek of "The Doors" classic rock group filed suit against his insurance company, St. Paul Fire & Marine, after St. Paul's refused to provide a defense under Manzarek's general liability policy.
Manzarek was sued by John Densmore and Jim Morrison's parents for infringing on "The Doors" name, logo, and trademark. Manzarek incurred more than $3 million in legal fees. However, St. Paul's argued that the policy had a "field of entertainment" exclusion, barring "personal injury or advertising injury that results from the content of, or the advertising or publicizing for, any properties or programs which are within your field of entertainment business." The District Court dismissed Manzarek's case with prejudice, citing the exclusion as conspicuous, clear and unambiguous.
However, the 9th Circuit reversed, finding a contractual duty to defend. The Court of Appeals said the lower court did not apply the exclusion language to the facts. If the language was narrowly construed, advertising injury could occur, and thus St. Paul must defend, in distribution channels not listed in the exclusion. Thus, specifically, the court found that Manzarek was entitled to advertising injury coverage for marketing t-shirts and guitars with "The Doors" logo. Further, the underlying lawsuit never specified the type of product allegedly being sold, which, if stated, might have allowed St. Paul to escape liability under this exclusion.
Finally, the court held that Manzarek should have been allowed to amend his complaint to show the exclusion did not bar coverage, which was the reason for the initial dismissal. For more information, please see: Manzarek et al. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Co., No. 06-55936, 2008 WL 763385 (9th Cir. Mar. 25, 2008).
Completing Form PA for Screenplays and Films
Screenwriters and Filmmakers often find it confusing to complete copyright form PA which is used to register scripts and completed films. Here is quick guide: If the motion picture is finished, you should register it by sending in Form PA with a copy of the finished film and an attached synopsis describing the film. If you are still at the script stage, you can register the script now and register the film when complete. In either case, closely follow the instructions on Form PA. The following guide addresses those sections that applicants often find confusing when registering scripts or motion pictures. Remember to complete all applicable sections of the form, not just those discussed below.
Registering a Script
Under #1, Nature Of This Work, you could write "Screenplay for Motion Picture."
Under #2, "Name of Author": Note that if a screenplay has been written for you or your company, in other words, if you hired someone to write the screenplay, then it may be a work-made-for-hire. In this case, you or your company is the copyright holder and should be listed under "Name of Author." On the other hand, if a writer has created the screenplay on his own, and he is then selling it to you, the writer would be the author. If this writer has already registered their script with the Copyright Office, you should not register it again, but merely record the transfer (assignment) of the copyright to you. The copyright should be assigned to you or your company with a written contract, and a short form copyright assignment recorded with the Copyright Office.
Under "Nature of Authorship," you should give a brief general description of the author's contribution to the work. If the author wrote the entire script you might write: "Entire Text." If you are claiming copyright to something less than the entire script, describe your contribution, for example, "Editorial Revisions."
Then enter the year in which the creation of the work was completed and the copyright claimant (the author or whomever has legally acquired the copyright).
Under #5, if the screenplay contains a substantial amount of previously registered material, answer "Yes," to the first question and check the box indicating the reason for this registration. Add the registration number and year of the previously registered material. If no portion of the work was previously registered, write "No" to the first question and leave the rest of the space blank.Fill out #6a & b only if the work has a significant amount of previously registered, previously published, or public domain material.
Under #6a, "Derivative Work or Compilation," you might write "Previously registered screenplay."
Under #6b, "Material Added to This Work," you might write "additional dialogue and text."
Registering a Completed Film
Under #1, "Nature Of This Work," write: "Motion Picture."
Under #2, "Name of Author": Usually this will be the name of the production company or entity that hired everybody who made the motion picture. If this is project was entirely a work made for hire, check "Yes" under "Was this contribution to the work a 'work made for hire'." Under "Nature of Authorship," write in "Screenplay and adaptation as motion picture."
If this motion picture was not at all a work for hire, fill in the name of the person(s) who made the motion picture, and check "No" under "Was this contribution to the work a 'work made for hire'." Under "Nature of Authorship," write in "Screenplay and adaptation as motion picture."
If this motion picture was partly a work for hire, and partly not, you'll need to fill in a space for each part. For example, if your production company made the motion picture as a work for hire but bought a completed screenplay from a writer who was its author, then you would fill out two spaces: In one space, you could fill in the writer's name as author, check NO under to the question of whether it was a "work made for hire," and fill in "Screenplay" or "Script" in "Nature of Authorship."In another space, you could fill in the production company's name, check YES indicating it is a "work made for hire," and fill in "All other cinematographic material" under Nature of Authorship."
Under section 5, if the motion picture contains a substantial amount of previously registered material, answer "Yes," to the first question and check the box indicating the reason for this registration. Include the registration number and year of the previously registered material.
Fill out #6a & b only if the work has a significant amount of previously registered, previously published, or public domain material.Under #6a, "Derivative Work or Compilation," you could write in "Previously registered screenplay."
Under #6b, "Material Added to This Work," write "Motion Picture."You are required to deposit a copy of your film within 3 months of publication. If you do not, you may be subject to fines and penalties. In descending order of preference the format for the copy should be 70mm, 35mm, 16mm film print, Betacam SP, Digibeta, DVD or VHS cassette.
In General Complete #4, "Copyright Claimants," even if the Claimant is the same as the Author. The Claimant is the person or company that has legally acquired the copyright. It will be either the Author or the entity to which the copyright has been transferred. When the Claimant is not the Author, you need to describe under "Transfer" how the copyright was obtained by the Claimant. You could state, for example, "by written assignment."Don't forget to include a copy of your script or film when you send in your registration form.
You need to sign Form PA and send it in with a check for $45 payable to "Register of Copyrights." Retain a photocopy of everything you send the Copyright Office including the completed Form PA and your cover letter. It is a good idea to send your package by certified mail.
If you would like to put your attorney's name under "Correspondence" so that he/she can answer any questions the Copyright Office may have, you may do so. In this event, you should send your attorney a photocopy of the form and your cover letter so he/she will have a record of what you have submitted.
Mail to:Library of CongressCopyright Office101 Independence Ave., S.E. Washington, D.C. 20559-6000Copyright circulars and forms are available from the Forms and Publications Hotline, (202) 707-9100 (leave a recorded message requesting the documents you want mailed to you), or on the Copyright Office website, http://www.copyright.gov.
The website also offers extensive copyright information. Circular 45 found at http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ45.html specifically addresses copyright registration for motion pictures. To speak to an information specialist, call (202) 707-3000.