UC Law SF Communications and Entertainment Journal


Title 17, section 505 of the United States Code allows a court, in its discretion, to award reasonable attorney's fees to the prevailing party in cases that arise under the Copyright Act. This Article focuses on the single issue of when the court should exercise this discretion. With no guidance from the statute or legislative history as to what the bounds of "discretion" are in this province, five circuits have adopted comprehensive yet conflicting standards. The law in these circuits, as well as the developing law in the remaining eight circuits, is discussed and analyzed.