Lawsuits Must Wait for Copyright Office, High Court Rules (1)
Art Law

Lawsuits Must Wait for Copyright Office, High Court Rules (1)

Copyright holders must wait for a decision from the U.S. Copyright Office before suing for infringement, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote. Copyright holders can’t sue before government weighs in on application Decision resolves circuit split, highlights importance of prompt registration A copyright holder can’t sue for infringement before the U.S. Copyright Office has registered or rejected the work, a unanimous Supreme Court has ruled. The high court March 4 rejected Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp.’s argument that the act of applying for copyright registration meets the requirement for filing an infringement suit. Wall-Street.com LLC argued the law plainly requires a copyright holder to have a Copyright Office registration in hand before suing for infringement. The ruling will most impact efforts to get restraining orders and preliminary injunctions, copyright attorney Aaron Moss, a copyright attorney at Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP in Los Angeles said. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for the court, interpreted “registration” as Copyright Office approval. She acknowledged that infringement could continue while the Copyright Office considered an application, but said those damages could still be recovered. Ginsburg also said Fourth Estate “overstated” fears that creators could lose the ability to enforce their rights. “Delays […]

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