Plaintiff claimed Defendant infringed her copyrights in two charts depicting organizational change. The key question is whether the copyright in one of those charts was registered with the Copyright Office such that it will support a suit for copyright infringement.
The Ninth Circuit reversed the district court’s partial grant of summary judgment in favor of Defendants, vacated a jury verdict, vacated an award of attorneys’ fees, and remanded an action alleging infringement of copyrights in two charts depicting organizational change. The court held that Plaintiff created a genuine issue of material fact on that question. The panel held that Plaintiff raised a genuine dispute about whether she registered the chart directly or whether she registered elements of that chart by later registering an “Aligning for Success” chart. Agreeing with other circuits on a matter of first impression, the panel held that by registering a derivative work, an author registers all of the material included in the derivative work, including that which previously appeared in an unregistered, original work created by the author. The panel, therefore, reversed the district court’s grant of summary judgment and also vacated the jury verdict because, as a result of the grant of summary judgment, the district court prevented Plaintiff from introducing any evidence and making any argument as to the Managinwg Complex Change chart at trial. The panel further held that the district court erred in instructing the jury that if it found that Defendant accessed and copied other work but did not copy the registered Aligning for Success chart, then Dfendant’s challenged work was an independent creation. View “ENTERPRISE MANAGEMENT LIMITED, INC., ET AL V. CONSTRUX SOFTWARE BUILDERS, INC., ET AL” on Justia Law