On July 9, 2018, a Manhattan federal judge ruled the that the 2011 novel “The Art of Fielding” did not infringe the copyright to an unpublished baseball book with similar plots.
U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein dismissed a case filed against “Fielding” author Chad Harbach finding that Harbach’s novel did share certain elements with Charles Green’s unpublished “Bucky’s 9th,” but not the kind of elements that are protected by copyright law.
Judge Hellerstein explained, “When read in context, the portions or features of [Fielding] that are alleged to be similar to Bucky’s are either abstract ideas, [stock elements], or trivial details insignificant to [either] of the two works…True, both works are about a struggling Division III baseball college team, and both works track the baseball team’s changed fortunes after the arrival of a new player, but that is the extent of the similarities.” Judge Hellerstein added, “Any similarities are either not copyrightable abstract ideas, or, when understood in context, not actually similar.”
The case is Green v. Harbach, case number 1:17-cv-06984, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
* Lowe & Associates (“The Firm”) is a boutique entertainment and business litigation firm located in Beverly Hills, California. The Firm has extensive experience handling cases involving copyright law. Managing partner Steven T. Lowe has authored the “Death of Copyright” trilogy, the latest article of which, entitled “Death of Copyright 3: The Awakening,” was published in this summer’s Los Angeles Lawyer magazine. https://lowelaw.com/press
Find us at our website at www.LoweLaw.com