Should the Copyright Office be able to vet copyright applications before any action for copyright infringement is instituted? This term, in the upcoming case Fourth Estate, the Supreme Court will consider whether “registration” within the meaning of the United States Copyright Act merely mean that the components of the application need to be submitted to the Copyright Office (the “application” approach) or that the Copyright Office has affirmatively approved or refused the application (the “registration” approach). In this Contribution, Jonathan Wieder (’19) discusses the textual and legislative origins and consequences of each approach and the differing circuit interpretations that led to the grant of certiorari in Fourth Estate. Ultimately, this Contribution argues that the registration approach better effectuates congressional policy of vesting the Copyright Office with discretion over copyrightability and balancing protections for all parties to a copyright dispute.
The Proceedings of the NYU Moot Court Board, or just “Proceedings,” is the online journal of the NYU Moot Court Board, documenting new approaches to unsettled legal questions proceeding from moot court activities, particularly law student competitions.
Proceedings aims to realize for the wider legal community a benefit of mooting that has hitherto accrued only to participants. As most appellate lawyers know, one of the best ways to refine a theory of a case or an area of law is to argue about it, either with colleagues or before law school professors. But student Moot Court competitions, which consider some of the most interesting and intractable problems in law, generate hundreds of hours of formal, inquisitorial analysis of those problems by professors, practitioners, and judges (not to mention reams of legal writing)–and then, too often, the results are thrown away when the competition is over.
No longer. Proceedings is the journal where lawyers and law students can publish their “test results” from the legal laboratory of mooting that tests both old and new approaches to unsettled areas of law. It aims to realize mooting’s potential not only as a valuable educational exercise, but as a productive forum for legal research.