SW Legal studies in Business

Injunction Against Publishing Book Is Gone With the Wind
Description Appeals court vacated the imposition of a preliminary injunction of the publication of a new book by a district court. The publisher of "Gone With the Wind" claimed the new book would infringe on its copyright. The appeals court held that the restraint violated the First Amendment.
Topic Constitutional Law
Key Words First Amendment; Prior Restraint; Injunction; Copyright; Infringement
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts The owner of the copyright for the novel "Gone With the Wind" sued to prevent publication of an allegedly infringing book about to be published, "The Wind Done Gone," which the publisher admitted was a take-off on the original book. The district court issued a preliminary injunction against publication of the new book. The publisher appealed.
Decision Vacated. "It is manifest that the entry of a preliminary injunction in this copyright case was an abuse of discretion in that it represents an unlawful prior restraint in violation of the First Amendment." A court does not have unbridled discretion to issue injunctions, it does so if 1) there is a substantial likelihood that plaintiff will prevail on the merits; 2) that there is a substantial threat the plaintiff will suffer irreparable injury if the injunction is not granted; 3) that the threatened injury to the plaintiff outweighs the threatened harm the injunction may do to the defendant; and 4) that granting the preliminary injunction will not disserve the public interest. It is "an extraordinary and drastic remedy that should not be granted unless the movant clearly carries its burden of persuasion on each of these prerequisites." The district court abused its discretion by issuing the injunction.
Citation Suntrust Bank v. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2001 WL 567706 (11th Cir., 2001)

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