US District Court Jury Verdict SRF v Ananda 2002

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US District Court Jury Verdict SRF v Ananda 2002  (2002) 

FILED
OCT 28, 2002
Jack L. Wagner, Clerk, US District Court
Eastern District of California
By (signature of Deputy Clerk)
Deputy Clerk

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
—-o0o—

SELF REALIZATION FELLOWSHIP
CHURCH, a California Corp.,
 Plaintiff,
 v.
ANANDA CHURCH OF SELF-REALIZATION,
a California Corp., and J. DONALD WALTERS,
 Defendants.

CIV. NO. S-90-0846 EJG PAN

V E R D I C T

WE, the jury in the above-entitled case, find the following verdict on the questions submitted to use:


QUESTION NO. 1: (ASSIGNMENT)

Did the Plaintiff prove by a preponderance of the evidence that Yogananda, during his lifetime, assigned to Self Realization Fellowship (“SRF") any of his United States common law copyrights in his writings or sound recordings at issue in this case?

YES: __X__ No: ____

If you answered "NO" to this question, you are finished. Please have the jury foreperson sign and date this form and return it to the Court.

If you answered "YES" to this question, please continue to the next question.


QUESTION NO. 2: (ASSIGNMENT - WORKS ASSIGNED)

If you answered "YES" to Question No. 1, please identify the work(s) in which you find Yogananda assigned to SRF his common law copyrights prior to publication:

a. The seven (7) articles printed in SRF's magazine between 1949 and 1975.

YES: ___X___ NO: ______

b. Yogananda's writing(s) concerning the Spiritual Interpretations of the Bhagavad Gita.
YES: ___X___ NO: ______

c. Yogananda's writing(s) concerning the Second Coming of Christ.
YES: ___X___ NO: ______

d. The six sound recordings of Yogananda's religious talks recorded between 1949 and 1952.
YES: ___X___ NO: ______

Please continue to the next question.


QUESTION NO. 3: (DEFENDANTS WHO INFRINGED OR USED WORKS)

For each work or works that you find SRF owns a valid copyright by assignment, did any Defendant infringe those works?

a. Defendant Ananda Church of Realization:

YES: ___X___ NO: ______

b. Defendant J. Donald Walters ("Kriyananda"):
YES: ___X___ NO: ______

Please continue to the next question.


QUESTION NO. 4: (CONTRIBUTORY INFRINGEMENT)

For any work(s) that you find SRF owns a valid copyright, was any Defendant contributorily liable for the infringements of those works?

a. Defendant Ananda Church of Realization:

YES: ___X___ No: ______

b. Defendant J. Donald Walters <"Kriyananda">
YES: ___X___ No: ______

Please continue to the next question.


QUESTION NO. 5: (FAIR USE) For any work(s) that you find SRF owns a valid copyright, have Defendant(s) proven that any use made of the work(s) was a fair use?

YES: ___X___ No: ______

If you answered “YES” to this question, please continue to Question No. 6.

If you answered “NO” to this question, please continue to Question No. 7.


QUESTION NO. 6: (WORKS SUBJECT TO FAIR USE DEFENSE)

If you answered "yes" in response to Question No. 5, please identify the work(s) you find subject to the fair use defense:

All works at issue: ______

The following works at issue::
(1) The seven (7) articles printed in SRF's magazine between 1949 and 1975
(2) Spiritual inperpretations of the Bhagavad Gita

(3) Second Coming of Christ


If you find that all works used by Defendant(s) are subject to the fair use defense, you are finished. Please have the jury foreperson sign and date this form and return it to the court.
If you find that less than all the works used by Defendant(s) are subject to the fair use defense, please continue to Question No. 7.


QUESTION NO. 7: (WRITINGS - WILLFUL INFRINGEMENT)

Did the Plaintiff prove that any infringement by Defendant(s) of the writings at issue was "willful"? If so, please identify which writing(s) were willfully infringed:

a. None of the writings infringed: ___X___

b. All of the writings infringed: _______
c. The following writings infringed:
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

If you answered (b), All of the writings infringed, please continue to Question No. 9.

If you answered (a) or (c), None or less than all of the writings infringed, please continue to Question No. 8.


QUESTION NO. 8: (WRITINGS - INNOCENT INFRINGEMENT)

Did Defendant(s) prove that any infringement of the writings at issue was "innocent"? If so, please identify which writing(s) were innocently infringed:

a. None of the writings: ___X___

b. All of the writings: _______
c. The following writings:
_________________________________________________
_________________________________________________
_________________________________________________
_________________________________________________

_________________________________________________

Please continue to the next question.


QUESTION NO. 9: (DAMAGES - WRITINGS)

Please state separately for each infringed writing the amount of statutory damages to be awarded to Plaintiff.

a. Regarding Yogananda's Spiritual Interpretation of the Bhagavad Gita work or works (as you determine):

Total amount of statutory damages: ___0___
b. Yogananda's Second Coming of Christ work or works (as you determine):
Total amount of statutory damages: ___0___

c. The "Spiritual Celebration of Christmas" article:

Total amount of statutory damages: ___0___

Please continue to the next question.


QUESTION No. 10: (DAMAGES - SOUND RECORDINGS)

If you found that Plaintiff owned valid copyrights in the sound recordings at issue, and that Defendant(s) infringed those copyrights, please state the amount of damages to which Plaintiff is entitled for that infringement (handwritten):

$ 28,980.00
Twenty-eight thousand, nine hundred, eighty dollars and 00/00.


You are now finished. Please have the jury foreperson sign and date this form and return it to the court clerk.

DATED: 10-28-02 (See signature on the actual document)

Signature of Jury Foreperson


Definitions (NOTE: Not included in text)

Fair Use "USLegal". 

Copyright Infringement

Contributory infringement = In copyright, contributory negligence amounts to the act of inducing another person to commit infringement of copyright. - "USLegal". 

Infringe - Infringe means to violate; exceed the limits of. It means to encroach upon the law or rights of another. "USLegal". 

Willful infringement – Conduct that constitutes an illegal use of another's patented invention(or copyright) where the infringer has no reasonable basis for believing that its actions are legal. "Expert Glossary". 

Innocent infringement - Innocent Infringement is the infringement caused without knowledge or awareness of such act. - "USLegal". 

The difference between a willful infringer and an innocent infringer is that while a willful infringer is liable for monetary damages, an innocent infringer can only be forced to stop using the mark."USLegal".