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

Court Denies Emotional Distress Damages for Copyright Infringement

In an October 19, 2015 ruling, Judge Paul A. Englemayer ruled that emotional distress damages are not recoverable for copyright infringement.  The pro se plaintiff had asserted a separate claim for "mental anguish," contending that "he has 'suffered from feelings of distress, anxiety and depression, which interferes with his creative ability, hinders his inspiration to write and consequently stagnates his income'" because of the defendants' infringement of his song.  Judge Engelmayer construed "this allegation, although presented as a claim for liability, to describe a category of alleged damages," and ruled that "such damages fall outside the remedies statutorily authorized for copyright infringement."
The general information and thoughts posted to this blog are provided only as an informational service to the web community and do not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. Nothing on this blog is intended to create an attorney-client relationship and nothing posted constitutes legal advice. You should understand that the posts by the author, who is an attorney at U.S. law firm Allegaert, Berger & Vogel, may or may not reflect the views of that firm and that the author of this blog is only authorized to practice law in the jurisdictions in which he is properly licensed to do so. For additional information, click here.