In a prior opinion, the Ninth Circuit held in this case that plaintiff’s claims under the California Resale Royalty Act were preempted except for the period during 1977 when the CRRA was effective, but the 1976 Copyright Act had not yet become effective.  This decision holds that the opinion, which dismissed most of the plaintiffs’ claims under the CRRA, made the defendants the prevailing party under the CRRA’s provision granting fee awards to the prevailing party.  Though the Copyright Act preempted the CRRA insofar as it granted artists a right to royalties on the resale of their work, it did not preempt the CRRA’s attorney fee provision, which was not inconsistent with the Copyright Act.  So the defendants were entitled to a fee award for their work in the case, even though claims for the 1977 year still remained unresolved.

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (per curiam); December 3, 2018; 909 F.3d 1204