Copyright registration hypos

1.   Seth Ashton, Rachel Brady, Amy Harvey, and Matt Cogan quitclaim their interests in the musical work and sound recording "Sesame Song" to Anne Marfisi.

a.   Orally

b.   In writing

c.    Nothing is recorded in the Copyright Office

2.   Brady subsequently conveys a non-exclusive license in the musical work and sound recording to Josh Seiter “with the earnest hope that he can make it a hit on American Idol.”

a.   Seiter recruits John Cotiguala to sing it as a contestant on American Idol and gives him a non-exclusive license for that purpose.

3.   Marfisi conveys her entire interest to Hannah Pitsenberger.

a.   Pitsenberger sees and hears Cotiguala singing the song on American Idol.

b.   She sues him for copyright infringement. What is her best theory? What defenses can she anticipate. What outcome?

c.    She sues in state court

d.  She sues in federal court

e.   Does it make a difference if she has registered her deed from Marfisi with the Copyright Office?

f.     Does it make a difference if Seiter and/or Cotiguala has registered their licenses with the Copyright Office?

4.   Pitsenberger and Cotiguala settle her lawsuit by an agreement under which Cotiguala pays Pitsenberger $50K and she transfers her interest to Cotiguala.

a.   Cotiguala registers the transfer. Pitsenberger did not register the transfer from Marfisi to her.

b.   Marfisi how conveys a fee simple absolute interest in the musical work to Filip Zucek. Zucek registers the deed with the Copyright Office. Zucek sees and hears Cotiguala’s performance as a finalist, and sues him in federal court for infringement. Who prevails and why?

5.   Thirty years later, a Disney producer stumbles across a recording of original performance of Sesame Song in CK Section C property class on 17 February 2011 and decides to include it in a movie, "Won El." Cotiguala and Pitsenberger both sue Disney for copyright infringement. Who wins?