563 F.2d 773 (5th Cir. 1977), 77-2061, Murray v. Gelderman

Docket Nº:77-2061
Citation:563 F.2d 773
Party Name:196 U.S.P.Q. 145 Joy Love Boone MURRAY, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Carol W. GELDERMAN, Miguel Uria, and Shaun Viguerie, all Individually and d/b/a New Orleans A La Carte, Ltd. and New Orleans A La Carte, Ltd., Defendants-Appellees.
Case Date:November 23, 1977
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Page 773

563 F.2d 773 (5th Cir. 1977)

196 U.S.P.Q. 145

Joy Love Boone MURRAY, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

Carol W. GELDERMAN, Miguel Uria, and Shaun Viguerie, all

Individually and d/b/a New Orleans A La Carte,

Ltd. and New Orleans A La Carte, Ltd.,

Defendants-Appellees.

No. 77-2061

[*]

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

November 23, 1977

Rehearing Granted Feb. 6, 1978.

See 566 F.2d 1307.

Page 774

Thomas S. Keaty, New Orleans, La., for plaintiff-appellant.

Michael F. Little, New Orleans, La., for defendants-appellees.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Before THORNBERRY, RONEY and HILL, Circuit Judges.

THORNBERRY, Circuit Judge:

Appellant Murray brought this action for copyright infringement pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1338 against New Orleans A La Carte, Ltd., and its shareholders. The district court dismissed the complaint for failure to state a cause of action. Rule 12(b), Fed.R.Civ.P. For the reasons stated below, we affirm.

The corporation was formed for the purpose of publishing and marketing a menu book, "New Orleans A La Carte," which contains menus of famous New Orleans restaurants. In May, 1975, defendant Gelderman approached Murray about the possibility of doing some work on a menu book. Gelderman originated the concept and attempted, unsuccessfully, to author it herself. Murray, Gelderman, and defendant Viguerie later met to discuss the idea, and an agreement was reached whereby Murray would take the lead in putting the book together and the defendants would contribute capital. Although she was made a director and officer of the corporation, Murray refused an invitation to participate as a shareholder. Under the agreement, Murray was to receive one-third of the book's profits, if any, and would be reimbursed for her out-of-pocket expenses.

Murray worked on the book by herself at home, making the necessary contacts and handling various chores relating to publication. She was reimbursed for her expenses but has received no income because the book has not yet made any money. After the book was published, the copyright was issued in the name of the corporation. Soon thereafter the relationship between the parties disintegrated; Murray was removed as a director and officer of the corporation and subsequently filed this lawsuit. The district court...

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