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Charles L. Sims v. Viacom, Inc.

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 01-31-2012
Case #: 11-cv-0675
McVerry
Full Text Opinion: http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/pennsylvania/pawdce/2:2011cv00675/197242/22/

Copyright: To file a claim for copyright infringement, one must first register a copyright.

Charles Sims (“Sims”) created an idea called “Ghetto Fabulous,” a reality television show. Following this creation, Sims registered and recorded this concept with the Writer’s Guild of America. Sims later met with Allison Jordon (“Jordon”) to help him create the proposal into a treatment. Jordon gave the treatment to Viacom, Inc. (“Viacom”) and signed a submission release on behalf of herself and Sims. Viacom later debuted “Charm School” on its network. Sims filed suit against Viacom alleging copyright infringement. In order to bring a claim for copyright infringement, one must first register a copyright. Registration with the Writer’s Guild of America is insufficient. Rather, under The Copyright Act, one must register a copyright with the Register of Copyrights. Therefore the court GRANTED Viacom’s motion to dismiss.