A blog about patent, copyright and trademark law in the U.S. District Court
for the Southern District of New York

Court Dismisses Claims of Foreign Copyright Infringement Against U.S. Licensees

In an April 22, 2015 ruling, Judge Paul A. Crotty dismissed copyright infringement claims against U.S. licensees of the copyrighted work for actions taken in the U.S. that allegedly facilitated foreign copyright infringement. Under U.S. copyright law, so-called “predicate acts” undertaken in the U.S. that are themselves acts of U.S. copyright infringement can also support claims of foreign copyright infringement. In dismissing the copyright infringement claims against the U.S. licensees here, the Court wrote:
Plaintiffs have failed to allege facts demonstrating a predicate act that in itself violates the U.S. Copyright Act. None of the actions taken by Domestic Defendants constitute a violation of U.S. copyright law, when undertaken within the U.S. For example, allegedly creating duplicate master tapes or electronic files, distributing or streaming [the allegedly infringing work], offering to distribute copies of [the allegedly infringing work], signing agreements, and “authorizing” Affiliate Defendants to commit infringement abroad do not constitute violations of U.S. copyright law because Domestic Defendants possessed a license considered valid under U.S. law.
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