Burr & Forman

04.17.2019   |   Articles / Publications

“How two Supreme Court rulings on copyright law may affect enforcement strategies,” North Carolina Lawyers Weekly and South Carolina Lawyers Weekly

In an article published in North Carolina Lawyers Weekly and South Carolina Lawyers Weekly on April 15, Hunter Freeman discusses the potential impact of two Supreme Court decisions surrounding copyright.

The two decisions decided that before an infringement suit, a copyright owner must apply for and receive a copyright registration certificate. Additionally, prevailing parties are unable to recover fees that are not defined as “costs” in the relevant statutes. As a result, copyright owners should now be made aware of the benefit of registering their works early and budgeting for their enforcement efforts.

These enforcement mechanisms are, for the most part, only available for works that were either registered before the infringement occurred or within three months of the work’s first publication to the public.

“This is not to say that a copyright can’t be enforced if it’s not registered within these time frames. Where the work is registered outside of these timeframes, a copyright owner may still sue for infringement, but will be limited to injunctive relief, along with any actual damages that it may be able to prove,” says Freeman.

Subscribers may access the full article here and here.

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