Today the Second Circuit vacated an order certifying a class of freelance authors and approving a settlement with electronic publishers.  The case involved claims that the publishers infringed the writers’ copyrights by using electronic versions of their works without express permission.  The court held that the lack of registrations for "the overwhelming majority" of the copyrights with the U.S. Copyright Office deprived the district court of jurisdiction over their claims.  Even mere class members, the court concluded, must satisfy the jurisdictional requirement of registration.  In re Literary Works in Electronic Databases Copyright Litig., Nos. 05-5943 & 06-0223 (2d Cir. Nov. 29, 2007).

Judge Walker dissented.

Barry Barnett

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