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Reed Elsevier v. Muchnick

Docket No.: 08-103
Certiorari Granted: 3/2/2009
Argued: October 7, 2009
Decided: March 2, 2010

PartyNames: Reed Elsevier, Inc., et al. v. Irvin Muchnick, et al.
Petitioner: Reed Elsevier, Inc., et al.
Respondent: Irvin Muchnick, et al.

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Reed Elsevier, Inc., et al.
v.
Irvin Muchnick, et al.
Consideration Limited:

LIMITED TO THE FOLLOWING QUESTION: Does 17 U.S.C. §411(a) restrict the subject matter jurisdiction of the federal courts over copyright infringement actions? JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR TOOK NO PART.

Question Presented:

1. Whether the usual power of lower courts to approve a comprehensive settlement releasing claims that would be outside the courts' subject matter jurisdiction to adjudicate, confirmed in Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Epstein, 516 U.S. 367 (1996), was eliminated in copyright infringement actions by 17 U.S.C. § 411(a). 2. Whether the Second Circuit erred by ignoring the assurance in New York Times Co. v. Tasini, 533 U.S. 483, 505 (2001), that the problem of compromised electronic news archives could be remedied by "[t]he Parties (Authors and Publishers [entering] into an agreement allowing continued electronic reproduction of the Authors' works . . . and remunerating authors for their distribution."

Question:

Does Section 411(a) of the Copyright Act restrict subject matter jurisdiction of federal courts over copyright infringement actions?

Holding: below
Vote: 9-0
Read REED ELSEVIER V. MUCHNICK opinion (PDF)
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