28 July 2020CopyrightMuireann Bolger

Google accused of ‘Austin Powers’ infringement

Google is facing a lawsuit from a German citizen for allegedly streaming movies including “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery” without his permission.

According to the complaint in the  US District Court for the Southern District of New York, on July 24, Ralf Hartmann claimed to have bought the copyright from Capella Films to movies including “After The Rain”, “A Business Affair”, “Commander Hamilton”, “Fall”,“The Last Tattoo”, “Music From Another Room” and “Pete’s Meteor”, in addition to “Austin Powers” in 2008.

He alleges that Google has digitally distributed some of the films without his permission starting in 2017 via its YouTube and Google Play platforms, and that the technology giant infringed his rights in violation of the  Copyright Act of 1976.

According to Hartmann, his rights include the copyright to the first “Austin Powers” film outside of the US and Canada. Hartmann alleges that Google has also reproduced and distributed “After the Rain”, “Commander Hamilton” and “The Last Tattoo” within and outside the US thousands of times, since July 2017 without seeking his authorisation.

He claims that his rights outside the US are protectable under foreign copyright laws of countries that are signatories to the  Berne Convention and is seeking punitive damages and legal costs.

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