Intellectual Property, Information Technology & Cybersecurity

The U.S. Supreme Court issued two rulings last week on copyright law. In both cases, they acted to resolve conflicts between the Circuits, following closely to statutory language.

Fourth Estate Pub. Benefit Corp. v., LLC.

In the first ruling, Fourth Estate Pub. Benefit Corp. v., LLC., the Court clarified the Section 411(a) registration standard for filing infringement actions. “Registration” in advance of an infringement provides the opportunity to seek damages for past infringement as well as the infringer’s profits. In Fourth Estate, the Court resolved a dispute among circuits, where the Tenth and Eleventh Circuits held that complete registration of a work was required, and the Ninth Circuit (along with the Fifth Circuit) held that receipt by the Copyright Office of a complete application satisfied the registration requirement (See Cosmetic Ideas, Inc. v. IAC/Interactivecorp, 606 F.3d 612, 616-17, 621 (9th Cir.)).

Read more: Supreme Court Issues Two Copyright Rulings

The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (“CCPA”) was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on June 28, 2018, and goes into effect on January 1, 2020. The CCPA gives significant new data privacy rights to California residents with respect to their personal information that is collected and maintained by companies doing business in California. Even if you are compliant with current privacy laws, you must consider how the CCPA may affect your business. And, if you have not already started steps for compliance with the CCPA, now is the time.

Read more: The California Consumer Privacy Act Is Coming. Is Your Business Ready?​

Authors: Eric Schwartz, Jennifer H. Cho and Louise E. Conner

On March 4, 2019, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. LLC holding that, under §411(a) of the Copyright Act, a copyright claimant may file an infringement suit only after the Copyright Office renders a final decision on a copyright application, subject to limited exceptions. Prior to this ruling, circuit courts were split on whether the text of §411(a) granted standing to sue based on the so-called “application approach” (adopted in the 5th, 6th and 8th circuits) or the “registration approach” (adopted in the 10th and 11th circuits). The “application approach” permitted a copyright claimant to commence a lawsuit once a completed application with all three elements (i.e., the application, fee and deposit copy) was properly filed with the Copyright Office. The “registration approach” requires the Copyright Office to render a final decision (either to register or deny a registration) before a claimant may file suit. Justice Ginsburg, writing for the Court, concluded that the plain text of §411(a) “permits only one sensible reading”: the “registration approach.”

Read more: I’ll Need A Copy Of Your Copyright

The EU-wide implementation of the GDPR on 25 May 2018 also marked the commencement in Ireland of the Data Protection Act 2018 and the establishment of a new Data Protection Commission. The DPC’s first annual report was published on 28 February 2019, covering the period 25 May to 31 December 2018.

Whilst the GDPR is the main focus of the annual report, it also deals with the DPC’s supervisory role under the Law Enforcement Directive (2016/680), which was transposed into Irish law by the 2018 Act, and the e-Privacy Regulations (S.I. No. 336 of 2011), in respect of the processing of personal data in the context of electronic communications.

Read more: DPC publishes first Annual Report since GDPR

Authors: Katherine Hayes, Partner and Greg Stirling, Senior Associate

In 2019 it is almost inevitable that data breaches will continue to increase as more and more companies report significant breaches. The theft of data from Marriott International's reservation database was one of the biggest data breaches reported in 2018, and is far from being resolved.

Read the entire article.