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Copyrights Entertainment and Sports Law Intellectual Property Litigation

U.S. Supreme Court’s Ruling on Copyright Registration

The Supreme Court had granted cert in Fourth Estate to resolve a split in the federal circuit courts as to whether §411(a) of the Copyright Act could be read to allow commencement of an infringement action once a registration application filed with the Copyright Office is complete (the “application approach”) or, instead, only (subject to limited statutorily specified exceptions) upon issuance by the Copyright Office of the registration (the “registration approach”).


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In March 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a 9-0 opinion construing U.S. Copyright Act procedural requirements for commencing infringement actions. Fourth Estate Public Benefit v. LLC, 17-571 (March 4, 2019).

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