Reuters/ Dena Aubin/ March 4, 2019

Copyright owners must have a copyright registration from the U.S. Copyright Office, not merely an application pending, before they can sue for infringement, a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday, resolving a long-standing circuit split.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for the court, said the U.S. Copyright Act does not allow a lawsuit to be filed until a ‚Äúregistration … has been made,‚ÄĚ and the term ‚Äúregistration‚ÄĚ refers to an action by the U.S. Copyright Office, not the applicant.

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