Elton John's 1985 hit "Nikita" didn't infringe another songwriter's copyright for a ballad about an "impossible romance between 'a Western man and a Communist woman' separated by the Cold War." The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit said so in affirming a lower court's rejection of Guy Hobbs' 2012 case. Hobbs' tune "Natasha" is about "an actual, though brief, romantic encounter" between the ill-fated lovers. In "Nikita," a man pines for a woman confined by "guns and gates." The songs simply tell different stories, Judge Daniel Manion wrote, and "what matters is that the particular ways that each song expresses these concepts are dissimilar." — Sheri Qualters


When her son faced life imprisonment for murder, Jackie Carpenter turned to her faith in God and the legal system to prove his innocence and ultimately prevailed. Now the Georgia woman's story, chronicled in the movie A Cry for Justice, is being played out in law schools' classrooms. According to Carpenter, Georgetown University Law Center and Yale Law School have requested copies of the movie for their first-year law students as representing a "classic case." She said: "I knew it was back when we went through that in 2008, when our own attorneys could not find a case anywhere like what we were going through, especially one that had ever been won with a not guilty verdict." Carpenter plays a small role in the film as a 911 operator. — Amanda Bronstad