Bloomberg Law
Oct. 28, 2020, 10:18 PM

Netflix ‘Narcos’ Copyright Win Shows True Stories Hard to Shield

Kyle Jahner
Kyle Jahner
IP Reporter

The author of a memoir that documented her romantic involvement may have had an easier copyright case against Netflix Inc. if she’d made it all up.

Netflix’s “Narcos” didn’t infringe Virginia Vallejo’s “Amado a Pablo, Oido A Escobar” (“Loving Pablo, Hating Escobar”) because much of what she sought to protect was unprotectable fact, the 11th Circuit affirmed Tuesday.

The court said that Netflix changed enough aside from those facts that it couldn’t convince a reasonable juror that infringement had occurred.

Underlying the case is when an author of an expressive work based on facts, such as a memoir or autobiography, ...

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