Episode 12: Are Spoilers Protected by Copyright? - Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal
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Episode 12: Are Spoilers Protected by Copyright?


Episode 12: Are Spoilers Protected by Copyright?

SPOILER ALERT! Online Editor Anthony Zangrillo and Staff Member Sophia Murashkovsky discuss whether spoilers are protected by copyright. This legal question became a hot topic over the summer in the wake of the Walking Dead’s sixth season finale, featuring the villainous Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) taking his revenge on an unsuspecting victim with the help of his merciless bat Lucille. Unfortunately, for audiences, the identity of the victim was not revealed. Thus, unrelenting fans began to speculate who was killed in the episode. All of a sudden, a fan stated that The Spoiling Dead Fans site would be posting reveal of the actual victim. This claim was met with a cease and desist and warnings of a potential lawsuit. The podcast attempts to understand which category of intellectual property spoilers fall into. Then, discussion evolves into the competing policy goals of the network preserving its content for its viewer-base against the freedom of fans to conjecture about important scenes. The distinction between trade secret and copyright also brings further nuance to the issue. Comparisons are also made to a similar situation regarding Game of Thrones.

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Anthony Zangrillo

Anthony Zangrillo is a third year student at Fordham University School of Law and the Online Editor of the Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal. He will be joining the Capital Markets group at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP after graduation. While an undergraduate student at NYU, he founded the Motion Picture Club. (http://www.motionpictureclubs.com). You can find him on Twitter at @FordhamIPLJ.