Newburg Law Enters As Lead Counsel In Copyright Infringement Case Against World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.

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Michigan-based copyright law firm Newburg Law enters as lead counsel in the matter of Papa Berg, Inc. and James D. Papa v. World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. et al., a copyright infringement case currently pending in the Northern District of Texas.

Newburg Law, a Michigan-based boutique copyright litigation firm, announced today that it has entered an appearance as lead counsel in the matter of Papa Berg, Inc. and James D. Papa v. World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), Michael Seitz, and James Alan Johnston, a copyright infringement lawsuit currently pending in the Northern District of Texas. Plaintiff James Papa is a Dallas-based musician and a noted creator of wrestling entrance songs, including “Badstreet USA” (The Fabulous Freebirds), “Man Called Sting” (Sting), “Master of the DDT” (Jake “The Snake” Roberts), and “Simply Ravishing” (“Ravishing” Rick Rude).

Plaintiff Papa’s Complaint alleges that now-defunct video game publisher THQ contacted him in 2009 to license his “Badstreet USA” work for inclusion in the “Legends of Wrestlemania” video game. Shortly thereafter, Papa’s Complaint alleges, THQ declined to license Papa’s work because, according to Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) records, World Wrestling Entertainment was listed as the owner of Papa’s songs. After an investigation into BMI’s records, Papa alleges he soon discovered that his music “had been improperly reregistered [with BMI] by Defendants WWE and Stephanie Music publishing and had been given a new registration number.” Papa alleges that WWE subsequently “chose to provide THQ and Defendant Yuke’s [developer of “Legends of Wrestlemania”] with a derivative work, which was created so as to avoid purchasing a license from Plaintiff Papa.” Plaintiff Papa has now requested that the Court award him damages, costs, and attorneys’ fees against WWE and other Defendants under the theories of copyright infringement, vicarious liability for copyright infringement, contributory copyright infringement, and restitution for unjust enrichment.

About Newburg Law

Newburg Law is a boutique intellectual property litigation firm, focusing in the areas of copyright infringement, trademark infringement, trade secrets, cybersquatting, and Internet law with offices in Lansing, Michigan, St. Joseph, Michigan, and Traverse City, Michigan.

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