Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Court declines to hear Express lawsuit

Judge rules court lacks jurisdiction in copyright case

Express Staff Writer

U.S. District Court in Boise has declined to hear an alleged copyright infringement case filed by the publisher of the Idaho Mountain Express against a local competing magazine.

In a decision dated Jan. 17, U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter wrote that the court lacks jurisdiction because Express Publishing has yet to receive a federal copyright on the material in question.

"Once we receive the copyright we will refile the case immediately because it was dismissed on a procedural technicality," said Pam Morris, publisher of Express Publishing.

Express Publishing filed the lawsuit in December, claiming that Sun Valley Magazine lifted verbatim or "crudely paraphrased" portions of several stories in a dining guide owned by Express Publishing. The lawsuit was filed against Valley Publishing Inc., the publisher of Sun Valley Magazine.

Express Publishing in Ketchum is the owner of the Idaho Mountain Express, Sun Valley Guide and Real Estate magazines, as well as Tables, an annual dining guide to upscale restaurants in the Wood River Valley.

The lawsuit alleged that text from the 2007 edition of Tables was used by Valley Publishing in its Winter/Spring 2008 edition of Sun Valley Magazine.

Morris said that Express Publishing filed for a copyright on Tables but has yet to receive documentation of its approval. She further said that federal courts have been split on decisions regarding pending copyrights and in some cases have ruled that the filing of a copyright application is sufficient for the court to have jurisdiction.

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