EMI Entertainment World, Inc. v. Karen Records, Inc. - Who is the right plaintiff in a copyright dispute

EMI Entertainment World, Inc. learned the hard way  that making sure you name the correct plaintiff in a lawsuit is pretty important to winning. EMI sued Karen Records, Inc., Karen Publishing, Inc. and the owners of these entities for copyright infringement and won a $100,000 verdict.

Too bad EMI did not listen to Karen's attorney and verify who actually owned the copyright in the songs/sound recordings that were infringed by Karen. Because EMI refused to join in the lawsuit one or more of EMI's subsidiaries as the proper party and owner of the copyrights, the case was dismissed by the judge for lack of jurisdiction.  EMI did not have standing to file the suit on behalf of the EMI subsidiaries.  EMI was notified of this potential deficiency in the lawsuit and refused to fix the problem.

Copyright litigation practice tip -  Name the actual copyright owners as the parties to the lawsuit. EMI won, but actually lost.

Here's a link to the Opinion.