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JARRETT & GFW LOSES APPEAL REGARDING COPYRIGHT CLAIMS AGAINST ANTHEM

By Mike Johnson on 2019-07-22 17:04:00

Earllier today, Chief Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw, Jr. of the U.S. District Court Middle District of Tennessee today shot down Global Force Entertainment and Jeff Jarrett's attempt at an interlocutory appeal regarding the court's decision to to dismiss their copyright infringement claim against Anthem, the parent company of Impact Wrestling.

Jarrett and GFE had sued, claiming that Anthem had violated the copyrights and trademarks of GFW Amped! by utilizing and selling GFW Amped! TV episodes via  PPV, streaming and DVD sales.  Jarrett's side had argued that each of the sixteen episodes were worth $300,000.  

Over the course of the legal process, Anthem admitted the original masters had been deleted.  Jarrett had been trying to copyright the material (obviously to enhance his claim against Anthem) but was unable to do so because he didn't have the actual tapes.

Back in April, a motion from Jarrett and GWE noted, "This case presents a unique issue.  In anticipation of a merger that ultimately failed, Defendants came into possession of the only copies of master recordings of the sixteen (16) one-hour episodes (the “Episodes”) of Global Force Wrestling (“GFW”) AMPED content (the “Masters”) at issue. There is and can be no dispute that Defendants (1) had the only copy of the Masters and (2) destroyed the Masters. Plaintiffs have alleged each one-hour episode in the Masters is worth up to $300,000." 

Anthem had argued that since GWE and Jarrett failed to copyright and trademark their GFW Amped! TV tapes and since Jarrett provided a license for Anthem to use the tapes, there can be no infringement.  Anthem also argued that by law, Jarrett & GWE should have filed their copyrights or have been refused registration in order to claim copyright infringement in court.  Since neither has happened – as Jarrett did not have physical possession of the GFW master tapes, which Impact has already admitted they deleted – Anthem argued that the infringement claim could not go forward in court.

Jarrett had arguing his copyright claim was dismissed because he and GWE did not complete the copyright process of the GFW AMPED! master tapes, but those tapes could not be copyrighted because Impact deleted the masters.  So, since they are at fault for that not taking place, his attorneys argued that Anthem should not let them off the hook.  The court disagreed, shutting down Jarrett's attempts to appeal that decision while the remainder of the legal case moved forward.

The original decision to dismiss the copyright claim has been amended with the following line: "In light of Fourth Estate, Plaintiffs have no right to sue under the Copyright Act, and their copyright claim will be dismissed." 

The remainder of Jarrett's lawsuit is still moving forward, with Anthem recently filing a counter-lawsuit against Jarrett and GFE.

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