South Bend; IN – Copyright lawyers for Truth Publishing Company, Inc. of Elkhart, IN filed a copyright infringement suit alleging Kristopher C. Campbell d/b/a I.C.U. MUG SHOTS of Elkhart, IN infringed allegedly copyrighted news stories.
According to the complaint, Truth Publishing, is the publisher of the daily Elkhart Truth newspaper. The newspaper includes stories regarding criminal activities. The Defendant ICU Mug Shots (ICU stands for Indiana Criminals Uncovered) publishes mug shots of arrested persons accompanied by news stories about particular arrests. These publications sell for $1.50. It is alleged that the stories ICU Mugshots included with its publication stories about particular arrests that were quoted verbatim from The Elkhart Truth.
Practice Tip: The complaint does not allege that any of the allegedly infringed news stories have been registered with the Copyright Office. Instead, the complaint only alleges, for each story, that “Truth Publishing has timely applied for copyright registration of the [particular] story and paid the appropriate fee to the Copyright Office.” However, the Copyright Act. 17 U.S.C. § 411(a) states that ”no action for copyright infringement may be brought until the work that is the subject of such action has first been registered in the Copyright Office, or at least an attempt to register has been made and refused by the Copyright Office.” Given that the Plaintiff does not allege either registration or a refusal to register by the Copyright Office, the complaint may be subject to dismissal.
When a copyright owner’s work desires to file an infringement suit but does not have a registration, it is advisable to include a request for special handling and pay a special handling fee (currently $480) to expedite processing of the application. This can reduce the time to obtain a registration from several months to a few days.
Complaint – Truth Publishing v. Campbell
Further information about this case is as follows:
Plaintiff: Truth Publishing Company Inc
Defendant: Kristopher C Campbell
Case Number: 3:2011cv00017
Filed: January 13, 2011
Court: Indiana Northern District Court
Office: South Bend Office
Presiding Judge: Jon E DeGuilio
Referring Judge: Christopher A Nuechterlein
Nature of Suit: Intellectual Property – Copyrights
Jurisdiction: Federal Question
Jury Demanded By: None