FILE PHOTO: John Melendez arrives for the premiere of “Nationwide Lampoon Presents One, Two, Many” in Los Angeles April 10, 2008. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok (UNITED STATES)/File Picture
June 24, 2021
By Jonathan Stempel
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Sirius XM Holdings Inc on Thursday gained the dismissal of a lawsuit by John Melendez, recognized by his alter ego Stuttering John, claiming it illegally exploited his celeb on channels devoted to radio and tv host Howard Stern.
Melendez, who left Stern’s radio present in 2004 and have become the announcer for NBC’s “The Tonight Present With Jay Leno,” sought unspecified damages final August in accusing Sirius of utilizing his identify, persona and voice from outdated recordings with out permission so as to add listeners and promote promoting.
U.S. District Decide Paul Crotty in Manhattan dominated, nonetheless, that federal copyright legislation preempted Melendez’s claims that Sirius violated his publicity rights underneath California legislation.
Crotty additionally mentioned Melendez, regardless of greater than 15 years and an estimated 13,000 hours on “The Howard Stern Present,” didn’t present he was injured or that Sirius illegally used him to advertise its providers, together with channels not devoted to Stern.
“The business benefit Sirius positive factors from enjoying the HSS Archives and operating the ads flows from the rebroadcasting of the copyrightable sound recordings themselves, not from Melendez’s id,” the decide wrote.
Crotty dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice, which means it can’t be introduced once more.
Melendez will seemingly attraction, his lawyer Michael Popok mentioned in an electronic mail, after Crotty “adopted a novel analytic framework which we imagine is inconsistent with prevailing legislation.”
Sirius and attorneys for the New York-based firm didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark. Stern was not a defendant.
Melendez has had a speech obstacle since childhood.
Stern dubbed him Stuttering John, and he grew to become recognized for asking impertinent inquiries to individuals just like the actor Billy Crystal, Beatles drummer Ringo Starr and the Dalai Lama.
Melendez left Stern’s present simply earlier than Stern moved it to Sirius from nationally syndicated radio.
The case is Melendez v. Sirius XM Radio Inc, U.S. District Courtroom, Southern District of New York, No. 20-06620.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; modifying by Richard Pullin)