Saturday, December 2, 2023

California Resale Royalty Act Gets Hit With Another Lethal Blow


U.S. District Court Judge Michael Fitzgerald said last week that U.S. Copyright Act pre-empted the California law which allows some artists to collect 5 percent of any resale of their work if they lived in California or if the work was sold there.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (covering California) had already gutted part of the California Resale Royalty Act last year when it ruled that out of state sales were not subject to the law. The plaintiffs plan to appeal this latest ruling to the 9th Circuit.

Given the weak legs left on this California law, perhaps artists should start looking to other legal and business avenues for financial redress.

UPDATE: April 19, 2016

Nicholas O’Donnell has a very interesting take on this:

This interpretation is entirely understandable. The problem is that the District Court has admittedly sided with copyright scholars and against an earlier decision by the Ninth Circuit on that very point. In 1980, the Court of Appeals decided Morseburg v. Baylon. In Morseburg, the Ninth Circuit addressed essentially the same challenge: that the language of the 1909 Copyright Act (which is similar to § 109 of the 1976 Copyright Act now in effect) preempted the CRRA.


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