5th Circ. Restricts Damages In Copyright Cases

Law360 (January 10, 2020, 2:43 PM EST) -- The Fifth Circuit on Thursday issued a novel ruling on so-called statutory damages under copyright law, expanding a rule that such automatic awards aren’t available if a work isn’t registered when infringement begins.

The text of the Copyright Act bars statutory damages for infringements that occurred before a work is registered as an incentive to quickly do so, and courts have interpreted that rule to cover even post-registration infringements so long as the violation started pre-registration.

On Thursday, the Fifth Circuit took that a step further, rejecting the argument that statutory damages could be awarded in situations where a post-registration infringement...

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