Are federal states not liable for copyright infringement?
Are federal states in the USA liable under copyright law? A copyright case that is going to be heard before the U.S. Supreme Court in November this year will determine whether states should be liable for damages under the Copyright Act—or whether sovereign immunity allows them to, in effect, infringe everything from photographs to Hollywood movies, without liability. In a so called Amicus Brief to the court, ASMP, NPPA and other associations in the visual sector such as DMLA, argue that release of copyright liability would have a devastating impact on the vsual sector, particularly photographers and small businesses.
“Knowing that such enforcement actions would be fruitless under the current controlling authorities, copyright holders—most of whom are small businesses and individuals with limited resources—are forced to sit back and watch as state actors steal their works. Such infringement:
(i) deprives copyright holders of royalties;
(ii) prevents them from offering clients exclusive licenses (if a state can freely infringe, then a license can be exclusive in name only);
(iii) devalues the copyrighted works and the domestic and international markets for such works;
(iv) discourages potential clients from entering into license agreements; and (v) impedes the diffusion of knowledge that the constitutional grant of exclusive rights for creative works was intended to promote“
Read full Amicus Brief here …