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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1480777
 
 

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'Catch 411:' Does Section 411 of the Copyright Act Restrict the Subject Matter Jurisdiction of Federal Courts Over Copyright Actions?


Emily M. Bass


Bass Law Firm

September 25, 2009


Abstract:     
This commentary examines an issue presently before the United States Supreme Court: whether 17 U.S.C. §411's registration requirement restricts the subject matter jurisdiction of the federal courts over copyright infringement actions. The Second Circuit found that courts lack jurisdiction to adjudicate claims alleging the infringement of unregistered works. The issue of whether courts have jurisdiction over such claims is of tremendous importance: The U.S.'s collective intellectual product is perhaps its greatest asset. Since unregistered works are as susceptible to mass electronic infringement as registered works, and arguably much more numerous, a decision affirming the Second Circuit would deny the country effective means of defending key IP. This commentary examines the statutes involved, arguments that have been made and the Second Circuit Opinion. It poses four solutions to §411's supposed jurisdictional conundrum and concludes that federal courts unquestionably possess jurisdiction over unregistered claims.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 53

Keywords: copyright, registration, registered, unregistered, infringement, subject matter jurisdiction, supplemental jurisdiction, 1367, Reed Elsevier, Muchnick, Tasini, original jurisdiction, 411, primary jurisdiction

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Date posted: October 1, 2009 ; Last revised: June 15, 2010

Suggested Citation

Bass, Emily M., 'Catch 411:' Does Section 411 of the Copyright Act Restrict the Subject Matter Jurisdiction of Federal Courts Over Copyright Actions? (September 25, 2009). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1480777 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1480777

Contact Information

Emily M. Bass (Contact Author)
Bass Law Firm ( email )
551 Fifth Avenue
28th Floor
New York, NY 10176
United States
646.810.3117 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://basslaw.wordpress.com/
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