Zuk v. Eastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute Of The Medical College Of Pennsylvania,

103 F.3d 294 (3rd Cir. 1996)


Zuk (P) developed a film of his therapy sessions when he was on the faculty of EPPI (D). D duplicated the films and then made them available for rental from its library. P wrote a book about the films containing the transcripts of the therapy sessions, which P had copyrighted in his name. In 1980, D changed ownership hands, and P was furloughed. P then requested that all copies of the film be returned. D ignored that request. Eventually, in 1995, P filed a copyright suit alleging that D had infringed his copyright. D moved for dismissal under Rule 12(b). D then informed P of its notice to move for sanctions under Rule 11(c)(1)(A) in that P had failed to conduct an inquiry into the facts. The motion to dismiss was granted as the court found that the copyrighted book afforded no protection to the film and that D owned the films and their use was not an infringement and that in any event P's claims were barred by the statute of limitations. D then filed for attorney fees under 17 U.S.C. Section 505 and then also filed a Rule 11 motion for sanctions. The court found that P and his attorney, Lipman (P1), were liable for $15,000 to D for attorney fees. P paid D $6,250, and P1 filed an appeal on the $8,750 balance. (The casebook then details out how the fee-shifting could not be awarded under the Copyright Act but must come under Section 1927 and Rule 11).