Second Circuit Adopts Stricter Standard For Copyright Injunctions

Last summer, a federal district court in New York issued a preliminary injunction banning the publication of 60 Years Later - Coming Through The Rye on the ground it represented a likely infringement of JD Salinger's copyrights in Catcher In The Rye. And that was the problem: Under the District Court's analysis, the injunction followed almost automatically from its finding of likely infringement.

Along with colleagues at Georgetown and the University of California, Berkeley, we submitted an amicus brief on behalf of the American Library Association, the Association of Research Libraries, the Association of College and Research Libraries, The Organization for Transformative Works and the Right to Write Fund, which explained why injunctions cannot issue so easily; many more factors have to be considered, including the speech rights at stake, and the public interest.

Today, we learned the Second Circuit Court of Appeals agrees. It issued what is likely to become a landmark decision on the standard for copyright injunctions. The Court acknowledged that the existing test it had employed for decades was incompatible with recent Supreme Court decisions, and articulated a new test that sets a higher bar for copyright injunctions. Read the full opinion here.

We are especially proud to see the Court adopt so much of the analysis we offered in regard to the proper injunction standard. Read our brief here.


That is great that your injunction caused the courts to re-evaluate the way they make decisions.

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