One of the pleasures of my copyright law practice over the years has been that  from time-to-time it brings me into contact with the Nashville music community, and sometimes—though not nearly often enough—takes me down to Music City itself.  Its usually hum-drum, behind-the-scenes stuff, but there has been the occasional spot of glamour and excitement, such as sitting back-to-back with a 16-year-old Taylor Swift at a dinner (I hadn’t heard of her before that night, but it was obvious that very soon everyone would know her), or hearing Lady Antebellum play a small venue, before they had even released their first album.  Naturally, I was eager to see the premiere tonight of ABC’s new series Nashville.  With T. Bone Burnett (O Brother Where Art Thou; Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’s Raising Sand) producing the music, his wife Callie Khouri (Thelma and Louise) writing the script, and the fine actress Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights) in the lead as a country music diva, Nashville brims with dramatic potential.



In a ruling that may make it even harder to get face time with TV and movie studio executives to pitch an idea (“it’s like Sunrise at Campobello meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer“), the Second Circuit has ruled that claims for theft of idea arising out of such encounters are not pre-empted by the Copyright Act.  The ruling means that actor Hayden Christensen may proceed with his claim that the USA Network TV series Royal Pains, about a concierge doctor in the Hamptons, is a misappropriation of an idea he once pitched to a network executive.


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