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In March 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court held that, under 17 U.S.C. §411(a), “registration occurs, and a copyright claimant may commence an infringement suit, when the Copyright Office registers a copyright” — that is, acts on a registration application, rather than when an applicant delivers the registration materials to the Copyright Office. Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com LLC, 139 S. Ct. 881 (2019). The 9-0 Supreme Court majority opinion, by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, affirmed a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and helped clarify the U.S. Copyright Act’s use of the word “registration” that had split the federal circuits. But even with Fourth Estate, some questions remain.
By Stan Soocher
Federal courts have long disagreed over whether the unauthorized “making available” of a plaintiff’s works to the public is sufficient to constitute copyright infringement under the U.S. Copyright Act. Two June District Court decisions demonstrated the differences between the views of the Fourth and Ninth Circuits.
By Howard B. Epstein and Theodore A. Keyes
According to news reports, and judging from the plethora of lawsuits filed seeking insurance coverage for lost income incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, insurance companies are for the most part denying claims for business interruption losses. The type of insurance claim at issue may make a difference.
By J. Alexander Lawrence
Don and Phil Everly’s flawless harmonies that resulted in a string of hits in the 1950s and '60s regrettably ended in acrimony. The Sixth Circuit recently issued a decision in a dispute between Phil’s heirs and Don over copyright ownership of the No. 1 hit “Cathy’s Clown,” in which concurring Judge Eric E. Murphy raised important questions about when the statute of limitations should begin to run in copyright cases and whether courts have been correctly applying the law.
By Dan Packel
Three-on-three basketball league Big3, co-owned by hip hop artist and actor Ice Cube, quietly abandoned a lawsuit accusing the law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan of putting its lucrative relationship with the Republic of Qatar ahead of its attorney-client obligations to the fledgling sports project.