In its Conference of April 15, 2016, the Court will consider petitions involving issues such as whether, to be “transformative” under the fair-use exception to copyright, the use of the copyrighted work must produce “new expression, meaning, or message,” or whether the verbatim copying of works for a different, non-expressive purpose can be a transformative fair use; and whether a change in state law reducing a prisoner’s ability to earn future good-time credits based on new or continuing prison misconduct violates the Ex Post Facto Clause as applied to a prisoner who committed his underlying crime before the change in law.

15-631

Issue(s): (1) Whether the Court should reconsider, and then overrule or modify, the portion of Williamson County Regional Planning Commission v. Hamilton Bank of Johnson City barring property owners from filing a federal takings claim in federal court until they exhaust state court remedies, when this rule results in numerous jurisdictional “anomalies” and has a “dramatic” negative impact on takings law under San Remo Hotel, L.P. v. City and County of San Francisco; and (2) whether, alternatively, federal courts can and should waive Williamson County’s state litigation requirement for prudential reasons when a federal takings claim is factually concrete without state procedures, as some circuit courts hold, or apply the requirement as a rigid jurisdictional barrier, as other circuits hold.

15-833

Issue(s): (1) Whether the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act’s presumption that a state decision rejecting a claim is a ruling on the merits can be rebutted by looking through to an earlier state ruling which applied a procedural bar that, under state law, could not be the basis for the later decision; and (2) whether, if so, a change in state law reducing a prisoner’s ability to earn future good-time credits based on new or continuing prison misconduct violates the Ex Post Facto Clause as applied to a prisoner who committed his underlying crime before the change in law.

15-849

Issue(s): (1) Whether, in order to be “transformative” under the fair-use exception to copyright, the use of the copyrighted work must produce “new expression, meaning, or message,” as this Court stated in Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc. and as the Third, Sixth, and Eleventh Circuits have held, or whether the verbatim copying of works for a different, non-expressive purpose can be a transformative fair use, as the Second, Fourth, and Ninth Circuits have held; (2) whether the Second Circuit’s approach to fair use improperly makes “transformative purpose” the decisive factor, replacing the statutory four-factor test, as the Seventh Circuit has charged; (3) whether the Second Circuit erred in concluding that a commercial business may evade liability for verbatim copying by arguing that the recipients of those copies will use them for lawful and beneficial purposes, a rationale that has been flatly rejected by the Sixth Circuit; and (4) whether a membership association of authors may assert copyright infringement claims on behalf of its members.

Posted in Cases in the Pipeline

Recommended Citation: John Ehrett, Petitions to watch | Conference of April 15, SCOTUSblog (Apr. 13, 2016, 2:00 AM), https://www.scotusblog.com/2016/04/petitions-to-watch-conference-of-april-15/