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“Full Costs” Under the Copyright Act Means Those Costs Specified iIn General Costs Statute (US)

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“Full Costs” Under the Copyright Act Means Those Costs Specified iIn General Costs Statute (US)

Postby MrFredPFL » Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:01 pm

Story : https://www.natlawreview.com/article/full-costs-under-copyright-act-means-those-





On March 4, 2019, the US Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision authored by Justice Kavanaugh in Rimini Street, Inc. v. Oracle USA, Inc., finding that the term “full costs” in 17 USC § 505 of the Copyright Act has no special, expansive meaning, but rather is limited to the costs specified in the general costs statute codified at 28 USC §§ 1821 and 1920. As Kavanaugh explained, the addition of the adjective “full” to the term “costs” (in the Copyright Act) is not enough to conclude that Congress intended additional costs, beyond those set forth in the general cost statute.

IN DEPTH
The US Supreme Court reversed in part a decision of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, finding that a federal court’s discretion to award “full costs” under the Copyright Act is limited by the categories specified in the general costs statute; and does not include expenses such as e-discovery, jury consultants and experts. Rimini Street Inc. v. Oracle USA Inc., Case No.1625 (US, March 4. 2001) (Kavanaugh, Justice)

Case Background
Oracle develops and licenses software programs that manage data and operations for businesses and nonprofit organizations, and also offers software maintenance services for its customers. Rimini Street sells third-party software maintenance services to Oracle customers thereby competing with Oracle’s software maintenance services. In doing so, Rimini competes with Oracle’s direct maintenance services. To obtain Oracle’s software, Rimini used automated downloading tools and copied the software from Oracle’s website.

Oracle sued Rimini for copyright infringement as well as claims under the California Comprehensive Data Access and Fraud Act and the Nevada Computer Crimes Law. A jury found against Rimini on the claims and awarded Oracle $124 million in damages, including $12.8 million for litigation expenses such as expert witnesses, e-discovery and jury consulting. About $36 million of the award was attributable to damages for copyright infringement. Rimini appealed to the Ninth Circuit.







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