Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v., LLC

586 U.S. __ (2019).

A United States Supreme Court opinion in which the Court held that a copyright owner may sue for infringement only after the Copyright Office registers a copyright.  The Court rejected the Ninth Circuit’s previous holding that submitting the application to the Copyright Office was sufficient.

Section 411(a) of the Copyright Act provides that “no civil action for infringement of the copyright in any United States work shall be instituted until … registration of the copyright claim has been made in accordance with” Title 17 of the United States Code. 17 U.S.C. § 411. In this case, the Supreme Court held that “ ‘registration … has been made’ within the meaning of 17 U.S.C. § 411(a) not when an application for registration is filed, but when the Register has registered a copyright after examining a properly filed application.”

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