Ninth Circuit Confessions
Bill Patry expresses the wonder of it all: “I confess to being baffled by the Ninth Circuit’s repeated inability to read the Copyright Act”! In particular he doesn’t get how it is that the Out-There Circuit seems to be the only one that “doesn’t get” an explicit provision of the Copyright Act that provides that pre-existing legal claims for infringement must be explicitly included in a transfer a agreement to become a right of the licensee of the copyright. Luckily for all those copyright-causes-of-action-non-assignors, the ocassion of his comment was not a new Ninth Circuit opinion but a Texas district court opinion that is consistent with the prevailing law.
So why the outburst about the Nutty Ninth? Because that’s what the California courts do to us. Having recently woken up from a Central District of California nightmare, complete with a patently unconstitutional outcome courtesy of the Ninth Circuit’s home cooking (allowing California “anti-SLAPP” law to be applied to federal claims) — I’m not a little sympathetic. (Though I’ve noted in the past that even a stopped clock is right twice a day.)
But we expect certain things from California and should know what might happen when we venture into harm’s way. It’s when the seemingly normal states go haywire (via IP) that we really start to worry.