Wednesday, April 12, 2006

When does a copyright claim "accrue"?

In today's New York Law Journal ($) my old Paul Weiss colleague Lew Clayton discusses a recent Southern District decision on the still-unsettled question whether a copyright claim accrues at the time of injury or, rather, when the claimant discovers the violation. (The question is an important one because "accrual" is what starts the three-year statute of limitations running.) The court followed another Southern District decision from 2004 (by another former Paul Weiss colleague, Judge Lewis Kaplan) in holding that accrual occurs at the time of injury. The court also rejected the so-called "continuous wrong" doctrine, which allows recovery for all infringements as long as the lawsuit is commenced within three years of the last infringement. Professor Patry reproduces the decision, Roberts v. Keith, 2006 WL 547252 (SDNY March 7, 2006), here.