Recently, however, in the Raging Bull case, the US Supreme Court (http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/petrella-v-metro-goldwyn-mayer-inc/) allowed a Plaintiff to sue for copyright infringement nearly two decades after the copyright infringement began.
Despite contrary rulings from two lower courts, the Supreme Court allowed Ms. Petrella, the copyright holder to the screenplay for Raging Bull, to sue MGM for copyright infringement. However, the suit would be limited to the three years preceding Ms. Petrella’s filing of the lawsuit, in accordance with the Copyright statute of limitations. The Court reasoned that by allowing a successful plaintiff to gain relief that is limited to only the most recent three years prior to the suit, the copyright statute of limitations takes account of any delay in filing.
This case is a good reminder that even many years after copyright infringement has begun, a Plaintiff, depending upon the circumstances, may still successfully bring suit for copyright infringement.