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State v. Oidor

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 12-12-2012
Case #: A145040
Armstrong, P.J. for the Court; Haselton, C.J.; and Duncan, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A145040.pdf

Copyright: Federal law, section 301 of the Copyright Act, preempts ORS 164.865(1)(b) because the Federal Act grants exclusive rights to copyright owners while Oregon law grants a similar right to copyright holders.

Defendant appealed his conviction of unlawful sound-recording and unlawful labeling. Defendant assigned error to the trial court’s denial of his motion for dismissal of the sound-recording charge and judgment of acquittal on the unlawful-labeling charge. Defendant argued that ORS 164.865(1)(b), which makes it unlawful for a person to sell sound recordings reproduced without the consent of the owner, is preempted by federal copyright law. The State contended that state law is not preempted as it does not grant a “right” to anyone; rather it prohibits a person from infringing on another person’s copyright. The Court held that the federal copyright law does preempt ORS 164.865(1)(b) and the trial court erred in deny Defendant’s motion to dismiss. However, the Court found that the trial court did not err in denying Defendant’s motion for judgment of acquittal on the labeling count. The Court found that there was sufficient evidence for a rational trier of fact to find the elements of unlawful labeling beyond a reasonable doubt. Convictions for unlawful sound recording and restitution reversed; remanded for resentencing; otherwise affirmed.