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2nd Circuit Opinion Says No Damages from Copyright Infringement Unless Work...

A lawsuit was originally brought and decided in 2001 over the digital reproduction of work by freelance writers. The Supreme Court found in favor of the writers and the publishers began to remove the work from the archives. There remained, however, the issue of damages. A settlement had been agreed to but was voided by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday on the grounds, according to the Times, that the federal copyright law only allows damages to be awarded to those writers who have registered their works with the US Copyright Office. Because the majority of freelancers did not register their works, the court could not adjudicate the claim.

The writers have vowed to appeal to the Supreme Court.

This has far reaching implications. If the right of damages, which is the teeth of the Copyright Act, is dependent on registration, then all writers, including bloggers, might need to start registering their works. What a hassle.

Via NYT.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

3 Comments

  1. DS
    Nov 30, 2007 @ 13:12:53

    Does Harlequin still not register their books? That issue came up in the Cindi Louis case a few years back as fettering the pursuit of plaigarists.

  2. Jane
    Nov 30, 2007 @ 13:14:53

    I have no idea but I think its a really interesting decision and when I have time, I am going to download and read it. . . .:)

  3. Diana Castilleja
    Nov 30, 2007 @ 16:23:09

    What a hassle!

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