On March 4, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court held that § 411(a) of the Copyright Act allows a copyright holder to sue for infringement only after the Register of Copyrights approves or denies that plaintiff’s application to register a copyright. That decision marked another success for WLF, whose amicus curiae brief argued that the plaintiff’s reading of § 411(a) severely disrupts Congress’s broad public goals behind the Copyright Act. By conditioning the right to sue for copyright infringement on the Copyright Register’s review, Congress sought to maintain a public registry of copyright ownership, to conserve judicial resources, and to enlarge the Library of Congress’s collection of copyrighted works. Contrary to the plaintiff’s view, WLF argued, each of those ends is best advanced by the Eleventh Circuit’s registration approach.


U.S. Supreme Court opinion

Merits brief