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Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com, LLC
United States Supreme Court
139 S. Ct. 881 (2019)
Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corporation (Fourth Estate) (plaintiff) produced articles that it licensed to news website Wall-Street.com, LLC (defendant). The license agreement required removal of all Fourth Estate content from the website before Wall-Street cancelled the agreement. Wall-Street cancelled, but continued displaying Fourth Estate articles, so Fourth Estate sued for copyright infringement. Meanwhile, Fourth Estate had applied to register the articles’ copyrights, but the Copyright Register had not acted on them. The trial court dismissed Fourth Estate’s claims for failure to first obtain registration, and the appellate court affirmed. The Supreme Court granted certiorari to resolve a circuit-court split as to when registration occurs under the Copyright Act.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Ginsburg, J.)
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