ABS Entm't, Inc. v. CBS, No. 15-cv-6801 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 17, 2016).
New York's 3 year statute of limitations "for an injury to property" applies to plaintiffs' claims for common law copyright infringement of pre-1972 sound recordings, holds the Court, not the State's 6-year "catch-all" provision. CPLR 213(1) and 214(4). Plaintiffs, a putative class, allege that CBS violated the public performance rights of pre-1972 sound recordings as protected under New York common law, and allege common law infringement and unfair competition. The narrow issue before the Court was whether a 3 or 6 year limitations period applied, and Judge Koetel held that the plain meaning of "property" (as used in the 3 year statute) is broad enough to encompass intangible property, like intellectual property in the form of sound recordings (or trade secrets). In other words, the 3 year limitations period is not limited to tangible property. Notably, the Court recognized that "the case law is mixed" on this question, addressing both the Flo & Eddie [80 F. Supp. 3d 535 , 541 (S.D.N.Y. 2015)] and Harrison [44 Misc. 3d 428 , 986 N.Y.S.2d 837 , 838 (Sup. Ct. 2014)] cases.