Petrella's Inconsistent Impact On Copyright Damages

Law360 (February 11, 2019, 1:48 PM EST) -- In its 2014 ruling in Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.,[1] the U.S. Supreme Court appeared to endorse and rely on an “injury” accrual rule for copyright infringement in stating the recoverable damages were limited to a three-year “look-back period” from the time of suit.

Since then, courts that apply the majority “discovery” accrual rule have grappled with whether Petrella also requires them to confine damages to a three-year look-back period where, because of the discovery rule that applies in the Second Circuit and many others, the claim is timely even though the infringement occurred more than three years ago. The confusion arises...

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