This 1990 opinion by Judge Alex Kozinski, is about security interests in copyrights of movies during a bankruptcy.


In re PEREGRINE ENTERTAINMENT, LTD., The Peregrine Producers Group, Inc., Peregrine Film Distribution, Inc., National Peregrine Inc., and Peregrine-United Corporation, Debtors. NATIONAL PEREGRINE, INC., a Utah corporation, successor by merger to American National Enterprises, Inc., Plaintiff-Appellant, v. CAPITOL FEDERAL SAVINGS AND LOAN ASSOCIATION OF DENVER, a Federal Savings and Loan Association, Defendant-Appellee
District Court Case No. CV 90-1083-AK.

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
116 B.R. 194, Decided June 28, 1990

The opinion is written by Judge Alex Kozinski (from before he became Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit):

National Peregrine, Inc. (NPI) is a Chapter 11 debtor in possession whose principal assets are a library of copyrights, distribution rights and licenses to approximately 145 films, and accounts receivable arising from the licensing of these films to various programmers.

Explaining:

This appeal from a decision of the bankruptcy court raises an issue never before confronted by a federal court in a published opinion: Is a security interest in a copyright perfected by an appropriate filing with the United States Copyright Office or by a UCC-1 financing statement filed with the relevant secretary of state?

And in footnote:

Cap Fed has stipulated that there is at least one such film, the unforgettable “Renegade Ninjas,” starring Hiroki Matsukota, Kennosuke Yorozuya and Teruhiko Aoi, in what many consider to be their career performances.

The Court concludes:

The judgment of the bankruptcy court is reversed. The case is ordered remanded for a determination of which movies in NPI’s library are the subject of valid copyrights.

However, don’t rely on this case law. Though cited and followed in a number of subsequent cases, it has also been questioned, criticized and distinguished by a variety of others. One 2006 case in particular, from New York, Gasser Chair Co. v. Infanti Chair Mfg. Corp., suggests that the law from the above discussed case, In re Peregrine, was superseded by statute when “the revised Article 9 of the UCC was enacted in 2001”.

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