Justices Fear Letting States Infringe To 'Heart's Content'

Law360 (November 5, 2019, 1:22 PM EST) -- The U.S. Supreme Court suggested Tuesday that precedent bars a filmmaker from suing North Carolina for using his footage of a famous pirate shipwreck, though the justices expressed concern that giving states full immunity against copyright lawsuits would let them infringe to their “heart’s content.”

At oral arguments, the justices grappled with the implications of a ruling last year that found states are immune from being sued in federal court for infringing copyrights. The lower court ruling tossed out a lawsuit filed by filmmaker Frederick Allen against North Carolina for using his shipwreck footage.

Justice Stephen Breyer said he feared that...

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