The World in U.S. Courts: Summer 2017 - Intellectual Property – Copyright | May.12.2017
The plaintiffs publish daily and weekly newsletters covering developments in the global energy industry. They alleged that an employee of the defendant located in Calgary, Canada had an individual subscription to the publications and auto-forwarded them to other employees of the defendant located elsewhere in Canada, in the United Kingdom, and in the US cities of New York and Houston. Plaintiffs alleged that this conduct infringed their US copyrights. The defendants argued that the Copyright Act had no extraterritorial application and therefore the forwarding of publications from Canada to recipients outside the US could not support a US copyright action. The defendants did not seek to dismiss claims based on the forwarding of publications to US recipients.
The District Court in New York agreed with the defendant that the Copyright Act has no extraterritorial application, and that some US act of infringement is necessary for jurisdiction to exist. It also agreed that the act of forwarding publications from Calgary to recipients outside the US could not support a US copyright claim.