Bloomberg Law
Sept. 8, 2020, 8:22 PM

‘Jersey Boys’ Makers Defeat Copyright Claims at Ninth Circuit

Blake Brittain
Blake Brittain

The musical “Jersey Boys” doesn’t infringe the copyright in a Four Seasons band member’s autobiography because any similarities between the works are based on historical facts, the Ninth Circuit affirmed Tuesday.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit also emphasized that works presented as nonfiction can’t later be held out as including copyrightable expression instead of historical information.

Rex Woodard partnered with Four Seasons member Tommy DeVito to ghostwrite DeVito’s autobiography in the late 1980s.

The book was never published, but DeVito gave a copy to people involved with developing the hit musical “Jersey Boys” about the band. ...

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