2nd Circ. Dodges Big Split On Copyright Registrations

By Bill Donahue (August 4, 2015, 8:08 PM EDT) -- For the second time in as many years, the powerful Second Circuit has sidestepped a copyright question that's quietly created a wide split among sister circuits: Whether owners can sue for infringement when their copyright registration is merely pending.

The Copyright Act is clear that a work be must be "registered" before an owner can head to court, but over the years, the federal circuits have slowly formed into dueling camps over what exactly Congress meant when it wrote the word "registered" into the statute.

In several circuits, a copyright owner can sue as soon as they file registration paperwork with...

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