By John Eggerton, Broadcasting & Cable Online, 3-4-19

The Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that with a few exceptions, a party can’t sue for copyright infringement until the copyright has been registered, not starting when the proper paperwork for registration has been filed.

An author gets exclusive rights to their work as soon as it is published, but does not have standing to sue for infringement until the Copyright Office has acted on registration, the court concluded, affirming a ruling the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

There are a couple of exceptions, both implicating broadcast and cable.  A suit can be filed before registration for a live broadcast or for a work vulnerable to pre-distribution infringement, like a movie or TV show pirated before release/airing or in advance of various distribution windows.  » Read More