The Computer & Communications Industry Association and the Netcoalition filed an amici brief with the Supreme Court Wednesday asking that the Court honor the jurisdictional limits on copyright law. The brief argues that the Supreme Court must uphold the long-standing rule that courts cannot hear copyright infringement cases until the copyright is registered with the Copyright office.
The brief asks the court to leave standing the ruling of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which overturned an $18 million class-action settlement that purported to resolve claims over which, according to the brief, the lower court had no jurisdiction. The brief points out that without that restriction courthouse doors would be thrown open to spurious claims by copyright “trolls” against Internet and technology companies.
The following statement can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:
“Our copyright laws need to be updated by Congress. In the meantime, the courts should not dramatically expand copyright jurisdiction. The appeals court was right in this case. The registration requirement that it insisted upon is a minor hurdle for litigants, and helps to filter spurious claims out of the over-burdened federal courts. An opposite result would unfairly tilt the playing field in favor or pro-copyright extremists. The Supreme Court should allow this decision to stand.”