[Excerpt] “This paper begins by briefly reviewing statutory provisions that determine initial copyright ownership, govern title transfers, establish requisites to infringement litigation, and bar untimely suits.
It then examines Billy-Bob Teeth and Jules Jordan Video and explains how, in the latter case, the Ninth Circuit applied rationales adopted by the Seventh Circuit in the former case to overturn a JMOL unfavorable to an "adult film" star.
The third part of the paper reviews use of the copyright statute of limitations to resolve competing ownership claims.
The last part of the paper, flagging important differences between § 201(b) and § 204(a), explains why one approach used by the Seventh Circuit to clear title was inappropriately applied by the Ninth Circuit. It concludes that, had the copyright statute of limitations been pled in the later case, the opportunity to misapply § 204(a) should not have arisen. Summary judgment would have been warranted on § 507(b), and that would have made it unnecessary for the Ninth Circuit to offer three alternative ways to extricate a copyright owner from the horns of a dilemma.”
Thomas G. Field, Billy-Bob Teeth Saves Porn Star: Coping with Defective Work-for-Hire Registrations, 9 U.N.H. L. REV. 409 (2011), available at http://scholars.unh.edu/unh_lr/vol9/iss3/4