June 22nd, 2012 11:48 EST
CBR Wins Against Northland Abortion Clinics in Federal Court
The following update has been released by the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform (CBR):
Federal Judge James Selna, on Friday, June 15, declared the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform (CBR) to be the winner in a copyright infringement lawsuit filed against us by the abortionist who owns a chain of Michigan abortion clinics. The case involved a consumer protection video we produced to parody an abortion industry sales video, and the judge granted CBR`s Motion for Summary Judgment, ruling, in essence, that the abortion clinic`s case was too weak to even make it to trial.
Northland had claimed that CBR actionably damaged their businesses and injured their reputations by appropriating footage from one of their infomercials to produce a "mock-u-mentary" video, which exposed the consumer fraud by which Northland deceive and exploit vulnerable young mothers and poorly informed voters.
In his opinion, the judge wrote that "Though Northland [abortion clinics] may have suffered pecuniary or reputational losses as a result of the accused [CBR] Videos, those injuries are not recognized under the Copyright Act. On balance, Defendants` use of the Northland Video was fair." The order itself read, "For the foregoing reasons, Defendants` Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED, and Northland`s Motion for Summary Judgment is DENIED."
He added that "For example, in the beginning of the accused Videos, a clip from the Northland Video plays in which the narrator says, "deciding to have an abortion is a normal decision"; then, the screen cuts to a video clip in which it appears that a fetal hand reaches out of the birth canal and gloved fingers-ostensibly those of a doctor-expose more of the hand before using forceps to rip off the appendage."
The judge also explained that "The accused Videos continue in that vein, contrasting the serene environment of the narrator`s office, her soft, conservative attire, her calm voice, and her message that women are good regardless of how they exercise their reproductive rights, with the gruesome and seemingly savage "reality" of an abortion procedure."
Northland alleged that our motive was profiteering but the court ruled that "On balance, the profit Defendants gained from the use of Northland`s copyrighted material is a minor part of the analysis in light of the transformative use of the material."