December 01, 2019 Feature

The Changing Landscape of Copyright Infringement and Sovereign Immunity

Cayce Myers

©2019. Published in Landslide, Vol. 12, No. 2, November/December 2019, by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association or the copyright holder.

Copyright and sovereign immunity may be one of the most important issues decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in the October 2019 term. A case out of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, Allen v. Cooper, has all the ingredients for an interesting case: underwater exploration, media, and, interestingly enough, a pirate ship.1 However, the implications of Allen v. Cooper are much more meaningful to intellectual property (IP) law, and depending on how the U.S. Supreme Court decides the case, the waiver of sovereign immunity given by the Copyright Remedy Clarification Act of 1990 (CRCA) could be held unconstitutional.

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