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Joel Osteen & Lakewood Mostly Win Copyright Suit Filed by Indie Duo

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A federal judge has ruled in favor of Lakewood Church and Joel Osteen, dismissing many of the copyright claims filed against them by an indie-music duo who said the church using their music would alienate their listeners.

Richard Cupolo and John Emanuele, who perform as The American Dollar, had said they had given Lakewood only limited rights to their song "Signaling Through the Flames," but the church had continued to sell DVDs containing it.

U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison -- using British Columbia copyright law, as both parties agreed -- found "the licensing agreement unambiguously limits perpetual-use Internet rights to those productions created or revised prior to the agreement's expiration."

He tossed the claims specifically against Osteen and his wife Victoria, but gave the defendants two weeks to amend their suit and pursue some courses of action.

The duo had sought damages of $3 million.


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