Milne v. Stephen Slesinger, Inc.
430 F.3d 1036 (9th Cir. 2005), cert. denied, 126 S. Ct. 2969 (2006)
In the first judicial treatment of the new termination right enacted in the U.S. Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998, 17 U.S.C. § 304 (d), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the District Court's decision rejecting an attempt by Disney and Clare Milne to cut off client Stephen Slesinger, Inc.'s right to receive royalties relating to Winnie the Pooh. The court held that Milne could not terminate a 1930 grant where the parties in 1983 had mutually revoked that grant and substituted a new one that was not subject to termination for significantly increased compensation to the author's heirs. The firm also represented Slesinger in successfully opposing Milne's Petition for a Writ of Certiorari filed in the U.S. Supreme Court. In February 2007, on the same theory we also successfully obtained a dismissal for Slesinger of an attempted termination action brought by the granddaughter of the illustrator of the Pooh works.
To discuss how we can help your organization, please contact your primary Fross Zelnick attorney or send an email with your questions. One of our partners will ensure that your inquiry receives a prompt response.