How Justices Could Rule On A Key Copyright Statute

By: Prana A. Topper | Robert A. Jacobs | Andrea Del-Carmen Gonzalez
– Law360

Manatt Entertainment Litigation Leader Robert Jacobs, Litigation Partner Prana Topper and Entertainment Litigation Associate Andrea Del-Carmen Gonzalez wrote an article for Law360 about how existing case precedent might inform how the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on a fundamental issue under the Copyright Act that has divided federal courts. 

The Supreme Court agreed to hear Warner Chappell Music Inc. v. Nealy, which presents an opportunity for the Court to address the question of whether the discovery rule or the injury rule determines when copyright claims accrue. Most lower federal courts have held the discovery rule governs the accrual of copyright claims so long as claimants file suit within three years of the date on which they discovered or reasonably should have discovered their claims. However, the lower courts are split with respect to the period for which claimants can recover damages. 

In the article, Jacobs, Topper and Gonzalez explain why the Supreme Court may choose to address the accrual issue in Nealy, how its analysis of this issue may affect the court's resolution, what other precedents the Court may look to and what difficulty a copyright claimant may face in pleading and proving the court's long-recognized fraud-based exception to the injury rule. 

Law360 subscribers can read the full article here



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