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Copyright Blog

This University is for the Kids, not for the Copyright Owner

Researcher Alleges that University has Infringed Her Copyright in Materials Related to a Grant-Funded Youth Program

On October 30, 2022, Dr. Gina Weisblat ("Weisblat") submitted a Complaint against John Carroll University (“JCU”) seeking damages for copyright infringement allegedly committed by the University.

Weisblat's Complaint explains that she is a renowned researcher whose work has been used to forward public health policy while advancing the skills and talents of underprivileged populations. As a part of this work, she has managed many different grant-funded programs while working at various institutions, including JCU. As part of her work with the Health Professions Affinity Community program, a health-care professional program for youth that receives partial funding from AmeriCorps, Weisblat developed documentation (the "Work") concerning the program and its objectives. She registered the copyright for the Work on May 13, 2022 and claims it as a portion of her creative and literary intellectual property.

Photo by Jens Mahnke via Pexels

In the time since the Work was copyrighted, JCU, the defendant, has used similar documentation, and received funding from AmeriCorps in connection with this use, without being authorized by Weisblat. As an exhibit with her Complaint, Weisblat includes a side-by-side comparison of language from the Work and JCU's documentation to illustrate the similarities between the two and advance her claim of infringement.

Weisblat seeks damages and injunctive relief for JCU’s alleged infringement, as her ability to receive future research grants depends upon receiving credit for her work.

This is a developing case, and we will provide further updates as they become available.