Urantia Foundation and Michael Foundation have submitted their appellate briefs to the United States Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver in the case of Michael Foundation, Inc. v. Urantia Foundation. This case arises out of the distribution by Harry McMullan III of a work that copied all but one of the papers from Part IV of The Urantia Book. Mr. McMullan convinced a jury that they should find Urantia Foundation's United States copyright renewal to be invalid. Urantia Foundation appealed this decision to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, whose decision is expected later this year.
The appellate briefs provide summaries of the information presented at trial regarding the history surrounding initial publication of The Urantia Book, and they are telling in their representation of the respective legal positions of Urantia Foundation and Mr. McMullan. If you are interested in these issues, we encourage you to look at the briefs, which are available on our website at http://www.urantia.org/sites/default/files/newsinfo/mcmullan.html . The transcripts of the trial are also available there.
Urantia Foundation has asked the appellate court to hear oral argument in this matter. If this request is granted, oral argument could be scheduled as early as May 2002 but will most likely be scheduled for September 2002. A panel of three judges will be assigned to the case and will read the briefs before the hearing. Oral argument is limited to thirty minutes, during which both parties will present their arguments and respond to questions from the panel.
One of the three judges will then write the majority opinion. We hope to have a decision before the end of 2002. Meanwhile, the English edition of The Urantia Book remains protected by international copyright and translations are protected in the United States and internationally.
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