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United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
April 10, 2018, Argued and Submitted, Pasadena, California; July 6, 2018, Filed
No. 16-56234, No. 16-56235, No. 16-56252
[*1064] BYBEE, Circuit Judge:
] The California Resale Royalties Act ("CRRA") grants artists an unwaivable right to 5% of the proceeds on any resale of their artwork under specified circumstances. To that end, the CRRA requires the seller of the artwork or the seller's agent to withhold 5% of the resale price and pay it to the [**3] artist or, if the artist cannot be found, to the California Arts Council. If the seller or the seller's agent fails to pay the 5% resale royalty, the artist may bring an action for damages.
Plaintiffs are artists and their successors in interest seeking resale royalties under the CRRA from the statute's effective date of January 1, 1977, to the present. The issue in this case is whether plaintiffs' claims are preempted by federal copyright law. The district court held that they are, as a matter of both express and conflict preemption.
We affirm in part and reverse in part. Plaintiffs' CRRA claims covered by the 1976 Copyright Act—i.e., those concerning sales postdating the 1976 Act's effective date of January 1, 1978—are expressly preempted by 17 U.S.C. § 301(a). We therefore affirm dismissal of those claims.
The 1909 Copyright Act, however, has no express preemption provision. As such, plaintiffs' CRRA claims covered only by the 1909 Act—i.e., those concerning sales that occurred between the CRRA's effective date of January 1, 1977, and the 1976 Act's effective date of January 1, 1978—cannot be expressly preempted. Nor are they preempted by conflict preemption. See Morseburg v. Balyon, 621 F.2d 972, 977-78 (9th Cir. 1980). Accordingly, we reverse dismissal [**4] of those claims and remand them to the district court for further proceedings.
I. LEGAL AND FACTUAL BACKGROUND
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
894 F.3d 1061 *; 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 18407 **; Copy. L. Rep. (CCH) P31,293; 2018 WL 3322222
CHUCK CLOSE; LADDIE JOHN DILL, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. SOTHEBY'S, INC., a New York corporation, Defendant-Appellee.THE SAM FRANCIS FOUNDATION; CHUCK CLOSE, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated; LADDIE JOHN DILL, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. CHRISTIE'S, INC., a New York corporation, Defendant-Appellee.THE SAM FRANCIS FOUNDATION; CHUCK CLOSE, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated; LADDIE JOHN DILL, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. EBAY INC., a Delaware corporation, Defendant-Appellee.
Subsequent History: Rehearing denied by Close v. Sotheby's, Inc., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 21807 (9th Cir. Cal., Aug. 6, 2018)
Costs and fees proceeding at, Motion granted by, Motion denied by Close v. Sotheby's, Inc., 909 F.3d 1204, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 33830 (9th Cir., Dec. 3, 2018)
Motion denied by Close v. Sotheby's, Inc., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 22473 (9th Cir. Cal., July 29, 2019)
Prior History: [**1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of California. D.C. No. 2:11-cv-08604-MWF-FFM, D.C. No. 2:11-cv-08605-MWF-FFM, D.C. No. 2:11-cv-08622-MWF-PLA. Michael W. Fitzgerald, District Judge, Presiding.
Estate of Graham v. Sotheby'S, Inc., 178 F. Supp. 3d 974, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53079 (C.D. Cal., Apr. 11, 2016)Estate of Graham v. Sotheby's Inc., 860 F. Supp. 2d 1117, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77262 (C.D. Cal., May 17, 2012)
artists, royalty, seller, plaintiffs', sales, first sale doctrine, rights, resale, preempted, effective date, district court, distribution rights, fine art, defendants', copies, expressly preempt, preemption, federal copyright, en banc, intervening, conflict preemption, express preemption, copyrighted work, copyright owner, subject matter, first sale, irreconcilable, regulation, legislative history, state law
Copyright Law, Civil Infringement Actions, Standing, Beneficial Owners, Constitutional Law, Supremacy Clause, Federal Preemption, Subject Matter, Statutory Copyright & Fixation, Original Works of Authorship, Scope of Protection, Scope of Copyright Protection, Ownership Rights, Defenses, First Sale Doctrine, Ownership Rights, Distribution, Governments, Courts, Judicial Precedent