Calif. Art Resale Law Preempted By Copyright, Judge Says

Law360, New York (April 12, 2016, 4:29 PM EDT) -- A federal judge on Monday ruled that California’s Resale Royalty Act is preempted by federal copyright law, once again tossing long-running class action litigation against Christie's Inc., Sotheby's Inc. and eBay Inc. over their refusal to pay the state law’s required royalties.

U.S. District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald ruled that the state law’s requirements stood as an “obstacle” to the federal Copyright Act’s first sale doctrine, which expressly allows for a particular copy of a copyrighted work to be resold without such restrictions.

“It is a...
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Case Information

Case Title

Estate of Robert Graham et al v. Sothebys Inc


Case Number

2:11-cv-08604

Court

California Central

Nature of Suit

Contract: Other

Judge

Michael W. Fitzgerald

Date Filed

October 18, 2011


Case Title

Sam Francis Foundation et al v. Christies Inc


Case Number

2:11-cv-08605

Court

California Central

Nature of Suit

Other Statutory Actions

Judge

Michael W. Fitzgerald

Date Filed

October 18, 2011


Case Title

Sam Francis Foundation et al v. eBay Inc


Case Number

2:11-cv-08622

Court

California Central

Nature of Suit

Other Statutory Actions

Judge

Michael W. Fitzgerald

Date Filed

October 18, 2011

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