EDWARD WEINFELD, District Judge.
Plaintiffs have clearly established they are entitled to preliminary injunctive relief. Originally, Judge McGohey granted an ex parte temporary restraining order; thereafter this court, to whom the motion for preliminary injunctive relief was referred, after hearing counsel for the respective parties, continued the restraining order, then noting that defendants' record album was a blatant attempt to capitalize on plaintiffs' album and upon
Plaintiff, Decca Records (a division of MCA, Inc., also a plaintiff), and the defendants, Musicor Records and Musico Records (divisions of Talmadge Productions, Inc., also a defendant), are in the business of recording, producing and distributing for sale sound recordings. Decca, in 1967, engaged a recording artist known as Vincent Bell to make sound recordings for it under a contract which continues at least to May 30, 1971. This contract provides that Bell will not permit anyone but Decca to use his name, signature or likeness in connection with the making, advertising or marketing of any sound recordings. Pursuant to the agreement, Bell performed and made a sound recording of "Airport Love Theme," a hit tune from a motion picture, "Airport." This recording was a "single," featuring Bell as the performing artist. It was released, sold and distributed by Decca under the title "Airport Love Theme — Vincent Bell." Its commercial success is attested to by sales of more than 300,000 copies. In addition to the single, Decca produced and distributed an album containing ten selections, one of which included the Bell recording, "Airport Love Theme." The nine other sound recordings were of songs also by Bell as the feature artist. The album cover prominently featured "Airport Love Theme" and below that, "Vincent Bell" in large letters, and underneath were listed the titles of the ten different records, starting with "Airport Love Theme." This cover has a pictorial representation of a girl on the deck of an airport looking beyond at an open airfield. The pictorial print cover has been copyrighted by plaintiff Decca, which alleges that all copies of the album cover have been distributed in conformity with the provisions of the copyright laws. Decca asserts that it officially released the album on or before May 11, 1970, although copies became available several weeks in advance to the record album community.
Thereafter the defendants announced they planned to distribute a ten-record album with a cover containing in bold type
and in smaller letters below, "Airport Love Theme." The album cover also contains a picture of a girl at an airport looking out at a field with planes on the ground. The substantial similarity between defendants' album cover and plaintiffs' is so striking that it can admit of no reasonable argument to the contrary. When plaintiffs protested, the defendants proposed a change which, in this court's view, emphasizes defendants' purpose to copy and to pirate plaintiffs' cover album.
The changed album cover contains, in addition to the same photograph as the first, the following: "Introducing Mr. Guitar" in very small letters, followed by large block letters,
and below in much smaller letters, "Airport Love Theme," and below that in almost miniscule type, "Performed by Giovanni Matteo."
The story behind this crude attempt at infringing conduct and unfair competition is telltale. In 1964, Bell was under contract to Talmadge Productions. That contract expired before Bell entered into his present agreement with plaintiff. Under the Talmadge contract, Bell made over forty recordings of various songs. Talmadge asserts it is common practice in the recording industry to release and re-release initial recordings after an artist is no longer under contract. This may or may not be so, but the claimed practice is without relevance on this motion. What is relevant is that plaintiffs have the exclusive right to release recordings of the musical composition "Airport Love Theme" as performed
Plaintiffs, upon their copyright claim, have made out a prima facie case of infringement entitling them to preliminary injunctive relief,
The motion for a preliminary injunction is granted. Settle order on one day's notice.