No Attorneys Fees For Dismissal Of Copyright Case

In Cadkin v. Loose, 569 F.3d 1142 (9th Cir. 2009), the Ninth Circuit held that a voluntary dismissal without prejudice does not confer prevailing party status for a claim brought under the Copyright Act. Accordingly, Defendant was not entitled to attorneys’ fees under Section 505 of the Copyright Act which provides that the court may, in its discretion, award full costs, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, to the prevailing party in a claim arising under the Copyright Act. 17 U.S.C. § 505. The Court overruled Corcoran v. Columbia Broadcasting System, Inc., 121 F.2d 575, 576 (9th Cir. 1941) in light of Buckhannon Bd. & Care Home, Inc. v. W. Va. Dep’t of Health & Human Res., 532 U.S. 598, because “prevailing party” status turns on whether there has been a “material alteration of the legal relationship of the parties.” In Oscar v. Alaska Dep’t of Educ. & Early Dev., 541 F.3d 978, 981 (9th Cir. 2008), the Ninth Circuit recently held that a dismissal without prejudice does not alter the legal relationship of the parties in a similar fee shifting statute.