A Fourth Estate® Service

Sunday, March 7, 2021

‘Comedians In Cars’ Case Goes To US Supreme Court

Jerry Seinfeld collaborator Christian Charles has urged the US Supreme Court to revive a lawsuit that claimed Seinfeld stole the concept for his “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” series.

Jerry Seinfeld collaborator Christian Charles has urged the US Supreme Court to revive a lawsuit that claimed Seinfeld stole the concept for his “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” series.

Charles’ lawsuit, which was docketed Nov. 9, claimed that the Second Circuit improperly dismissed his copyright lawsuit last May against Seinfeld over the show after it was found that he missed a three-year window to sue.

The Second Circuit affirmed a previous decision to dismiss Charles’s copyright claim which it considered as “time-barred”, meaning it was brought too late to court. 

District Judge Alison Nathan has already ruled last year that the producer’s alleged “authorship” of the show does not establish his ownership. 

“The district court identified two events described in the Second Amended Complaint that would have put a reasonably diligent plaintiff on notice that his ownership claims were disputed,” said the documents released last May.  

Charles wrote in his appeal that the court should grant the writ to clarify the distinctions between “copyright ownership and copyright authorship” after the courts have allegedly removed their distinction, or failed to recognize that there is one. 

Under the US Copyright Act, claims of infringement face a three-year statute of limitations, but that clock resets with each new infringement filed.

According to the Second Circuit, the clock never started for the earlier appeal because Seinfeld didn’t clearly reject Charles’ claim to ownership.

Article © 2021 Fourth Estate® — All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Recent Articles

Get the Daily NewsBrief in your inbox

Related Stories