Ninth Circuit: Heirs of "Pink Panther" coauthor do not retain interest in copyright in the films

In a decision last week, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment in a copyright case, holding that a coauthor of a story treatment is not necessarily a coauthor of a motion picture produced based on that treatment, and the factors applied to determine coauthorship led to the conclusion that the coauthor of the treatment was not a coauthor of the motion picture. 

In this case, that meant the heirs of one coauthor of the treatment that formed the basis for the film "The Pink Panther" could not assert an interest in the copyright in the motion picture.  Likewise, renewal of the copyright in the motion picture had no effect on the copyright of the treatment, as its copyright is separate and distinct under the law.  Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment.

More on Richlin v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, Inc. after the jump.

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