E. Supp.

Resurrecting the Spirit of the Law: Copyright Preemption and Idea Protection in Montz v. Pilgrim Films

Abstract: On May 4, 2011, in Montz v. Pilgrim Films & Television, Inc., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that an implied-in-fact contract claim survived preemption by the Copyright Act of 1976 because it was qualitatively different from a copyright claim. It did so by applying a permissive interpretation of the extra element test. Under this interpretation, the contract claim alleged an extra element that transformed the nature of the action. This Comment argues that this narrow interpretation of the Copyright Act’s preemption clause was correct because it provides idea-creators with greater protection for their creative concepts and conforms with the Copyright Act’s underlying goals.

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