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Gilliam v. American Broadcasting Cos., 538 F.2d 14 (1976) p.532


moral rights


When ABC put Monte Python on the air in the USA they cut a lot of the original material out. The producers of Monte Python sued because the show was so changed by cutting out so much. They sued under the theory of unathorized distribution. The BBC only authorizied reproduction of the original work without alterations.


The trial judge found damage caused to the palintiffs by the impairment of the integrity of their work. The court of appeals held that ABC should accompany its broadcase with a legend to the effect that the program had been edited by ABC.


Whether the showing of an altered version of Monte Python was a violation of the copyright protections.


One who obtains permissions to use a copyrighted script in the production of a derivitive work. Test is whether there was substantial alterations so as to infringe upon the integrity of the original work.


The altered versions of the Monte Python show constitutes unauthorized reproduction of a work and a violation of the Lanham Act.


Also violates the Lanham act: relates to unfair competition regarding source of products. The show is the product and the source that is being misrepresented is the representation that Monte Python created the altered version of the show. The unauthorized editing of the underlying work, if proven, would constitute an infringement of the copyright in that work similar to any other use of a work that exceeded the license granted by the proprietor of the copyright.


If you have a product of a service in interstate commerce, and there is misrepresentation as to the source of that product or service, and it is causing damage or is likely to cause damage, you can bring a cause of action under the Federal Lanham Act. Amerian law, as currently written, does not recognize moral rights.

Created on: Thursday, October 14, 1999 at 18:45:45 (PDT)

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