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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Ind. Decisions - 7th Cir. decides copyright case out of Ill. involving Louis Farrakhan portrait

In Jesus Ali v. Final Call, Inc., a 15-page opinion, Chief Judge Wood writes:

Carpenters have a saying: measure twice, cut once. This litigation might have been averted if that adage had been observed here. In 1984, Jesus Muhammad‐Ali painted a portrait of the leader of the Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan. In 2013, Ali sued The Final Call, a newspaper that describes itself as the “propagation arm of the Nation of Islam,” for copyright infringement. The Final Call, it turned out, admittedly had sold over a hundred copies of Ali’s Farrakhan portrait. Ali nonetheless lost his case after a bench trial. He now appeals, arguing that the district court misstated the elements of a prima facie copyright infringement claim and erroneously shifted to him the burden of proving that the copies were unauthorized. Ali is correct, and The Final Call proved no defense. We therefore reverse.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 10, 2016 04:19 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions