This Week’s Decisions
1st U.S. Court of Appeals
Where a U.S. District Court judge entered judgment for the defendants in a dispute over profits from the sale of Hummel figurines, the judge acted permissibly based on the plaintiff’s failure to meet the Copyright Act’s three-year statute of limitations. Affirmed.
Cyr, J. “The majority opinion holds that since the [plaintiff’s] state-law accounting claim might require it to establish as a threshold matter that its predecessor-in-interest, Margarete Seemann, was an original co-owner of the copyright in Das Hummelbuch, the [plaintiff’s] claim thus ‘arises under’ the Copyright Act for purposes of both subject matter jurisdiction and, by logical extension, the Act’s three-year statute of limitations. Inasmuch as the ramifications of this holding — viz., that the federal courts have exclusive subject matter jurisdiction to adjudicate all accounting claims between the co-owners of a copyrighted work — are both unprecedented and potentially pernicious, I respectfully dissent.”
Cambridge Literary Properties, Ltd. v. W. Goebel Porzellanfabrik G.m.b.H. & Co. KG., et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 01-360-07) (55 pages) (Lynch, J.) (Cyr, Sr. Cir. J., dissenting) (1st Circuit) Appealed from a judgment entered by Gertner, J., in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Henry Hermann for the plaintiff-appellant; David P. Shouvlin, with whom Joseph D. Steinfield and David E. Plotkin were on brief, for the defendants-appellees (Docket No. 06-2339) (Dec. 13, 2007).