Copyright and Felon Voting Rights Cases

By FindLaw Staff on February 25, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The Fifth Circuit decided one case involving copyright infringement and another concerning Mississippi's constitutional provision concerning voting by felons.

Maverick Recording Co. v. Harper, No. 08-51194, was a copyright infringement action based on unlawful file sharing.  The court of appeals affirmed partial summary judgment for plaintiff, holding that 1) the uncontroverted evidence was more than sufficient to compel a finding that defendant had downloaded the files; and 2) defendant infringed plaintiffs' exclusive right to reproduce their copyrighted works by downloading the 37 audio files to her computer without authorization.  Moreover, the court reversed the partial denial of summary judgment for plaintiffs on the ground that lack of legal sophistication could not overcome a properly asserted 17 U.S.C. 402(d) limitation to the innocent infringer defense.

Young v. Hosemann, No. 08-60941, concerned an action claiming that section 241 of the Constitution of the State of Mississippi granted plaintiff-felons the right to vote in presidential elections.  The court of appeals affirmed the dismissal of the complaint, holding that the plain language of the provision did not support plaintiffs' argument.

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