Subafilms v. MGM, 24 F.3d 1088 (1994) p.867
Producers of animated movie filed copyright infringement action against distributors concerning foreign and domestic videotape distribution of movie.
The Court of Appeals affirmed. On petition for rehearing en banc, the Court of Appeals
Whether a claim for infringement can be brought under the Copyright Act, when the assertedly infringing conduct consists solely of the authorization within the territorial boundaries of the United States of acts that occur entirely abroad.
We hold that such allegations do not state a claim for relief under the copyright laws of the United States.
Circuit Judge, held that: (1) allegation of mere domestic authorization of extraterritorial acts of infringement did not state claim under Copyright Act, and (2) longstanding presumption against extraterritorial application of United States laws applied to action under Copyright Act concerning alleged infringement occurring wholly outside United States. Vacated in part and remanded.
Liability under Copyright Act for violation of copyright owner's exclusive right "to authorize" specific activities merely clarifies that bare act of authorization can incur third-party liability for contributory infringement, but does not impose liability for authorization of acts that would not result in liability under Act if authorizing party had chosen to engage in such acts itself.
Longstanding presumption against extraterritorial application of United States laws applied to action under Copyright Act concerning alleged infringement occurring wholly outside United States, absent clear expression of contrary Congressional intent, in order to prevent international discord from disruption of developing international regime for protection of intellectual property.
Created on: Thursday, November 18, 1999 at 20:37:03 (PST)