Washington Journal of Law, Technology & Arts


Evan Brown


In an era of copyright trolling, digital distribution, and widespread reappropriation of creative works, the specter of “shakedown” copyright infringement litigation looms larger than ever before. Some plaintiffs will hold the prospect of expensive and time-consuming discovery over alleged infringers to provoke settlement. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decisions in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly and Ashcroft v. Iqbal, courts are more likely to consider the costs and time requirements of discovery when considering a defendant’s 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. Several courts have recently indicated a willingness to grant motions to dismiss in copyright infringement cases when discovery is unlikely to produce material evidence. This Article examines the circumstances under which pre-discovery dismissal is likely to be granted, the courts’ reasoning for granting dismissal in such cases, and the potential effects on copyright infringement litigation.

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