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Bruce Ameil Williams v. the Mcgraw-Hill Companies Inc et al

October 7, 2011

BRUCE AMEIL WILLIAMS
v.
THE MCGRAW-HILL COMPANIES INC ET AL



The opinion of the court was delivered by: The Honorable Gary Allen Feess

JS - 6

LINKS: 6, 18

CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL

Present: The Honorable GARY ALLEN FEESS

Renee Fisher None N/A Deputy Clerk Court Reporter / Recorder Tape No.

Attorneys Present for Plaintiffs: Attorneys Present for Defendants:

None None

Proceedings: (In Chambers)`

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH PREJUDICE, ON THE COURT'S OWN MOTION

I. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Bruce Ameil Williams, and the claim for copyright infringement asserted in his Complaint of September 14, 2011, are well known to this Court. (Docket No. 4, Compl.) Williams registered a copyright in 1989 for the 45-word "Afrimerican text."*fn1 (Compl. ¶ 12.) On November 18, 2009, Williams discovered a passage, in a book on editing authored by Defendants Daryl Frazell and George Tuck and published by Defendant The McGraw-Hill Companies ("McGraw-Hill"), that Williams argues is an "unauthorized derivative infringing text" that has been sold to the public, causing "significant injury" to his rights.*fn2 (Compl. ¶ 2.) Williams asserts a claim for copyright infringement and seeks an injunction prohibiting

Defendants from the sale and use of their text and from collecting future royalties on the book; the impoundment and destruction of all materials relating to the book; damages in an amount not less than $150,000; and "Special Damages . . . pursuant to F.R.C.P. 9(g)" in the amount of $12,300,089.52. (Compl. ¶¶ 46-60.)

At this same time last year, Williams instituted a substantially similar action. On September 3, 2010, he filed a First Amended Complaint ("FAC") against these same Defendants, asserting the same claim for copyright infringement and alleging the same facts, making the same arguments, and seeking the same remedies. (No. 2:10-CV-06062 GAF (SHx), Docket No. 6, FAC.) On November 16, 2010 and January 20, 2011, this Court granted Defendant McGraw-Hill's and Defendants Frazell's and Tuck's respective motions to dismiss that complaint, with prejudice. Williams v. McGraw-Hill Inc., No. 2:10-CV-06062 GAF (SHx) (C.D. Cal. Nov. 16, 2010 and Jan. 20, 2011). This Court found that Williams was barred by the doctrine of issue preclusion from litigating his claim, because, in Williams v. Warner/Chappell

, No. 2:07-CV-02683 SVW (CTx) (C.D. Cal. Sept. 26, 2007), an earlier court had determined that Williams did not own a legally valid copyright in the Afrimerican text. Williams, No. 2:10-CV-06062 (Nov. 16, 2010 and Jan. 20, 2011) at 3-4 (citing Williams, No. 2:07-CV-02683 at 5-9). The dispositions in Warner/Chappell Music and McGraw-Hill Inc. were affirmed by the Ninth Circuit. Williams v. Warner Chappell Music, ...


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