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R.R. DONNELLEY & SONS CO. v. HABER

February 14, 1942

R.R. DONNELLEY & SONS CO.
v.
HABER et al.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: CAMPBELL

CAMPBELL, District Judge.

This is an action brought by the plaintiff for the alleged infringement by the defendant of a copyright of the plaintiff and for alleged unfair competition by the defendant.

Plaintiff, in the preparation of catalogs including the John Simmons Co. catalog in question, not only sought information from jobber and manufacturers, and consents to publish, but had obtained the same, and had edited them and produced its units, which were kept up-to-date, from which were selected those to be used, and provided new matter, and new plates for the particular business of the John Simmons Co., for which the catalog was being prepared.

 All of this work, including the arrangement, required skill on the part of the plaintiff, its agents or servants, and the catalog was prepared at a considerable expense, a copy submitted to the John Simmons Co., and on approval, after revisions, was printed, bound, published and copyrighted.

 Defendant questions the right of the plaintiff to copyright the catalog (Ex. 1) but he is clearly in error.

 Title 17, Section, 8 U.S.C.A., in so far as it is necessary for consideration herein provides as follows: "Section [┬ž ] 8. Authors or proprietors, entitled; aliens. The author or proprietor of any work made the subject of copyright by this title * * * shall have copyright for such work under the conditions and for the terms specified in this title."

 The plaintiff was the author of the catalog and John Simmons Co. was not.

 The defendant is in error, and is not supported by the evidence, when he says that "the employees of John Simmons Co. revised and edited all material submitted to it"; that John Simmons Co. employed plaintiff to obtain "10% of the material" in plaintiff's catalog.

 The revising, editing and compiling was done by plaintiff, and there is no evidence to show that John Simmons Co. employed plaintiff to obtain "10% of the material" in plaintiff's catalog, or any other percentage, on the contrary, what plaintiff agreed to, and did supply, and what John Simmons Co. agreed to, and did accept, and pay for, was a complete catalog.

 I know of no requirement, nor has any been called to my attention, that plaintiff's right to copyright the catalog should have been expressed in the contract.

 The record shows that John Simmons Co. recognized the plaintiff as the author and compiler of the catalog, and that plaintiff was entitled to copyright it and did so.

 Defendant's catalog was made by defendant, who says he selected the catalog material, which he pasted on prepared sheets, on which there was a border, and that when completed, he turned the copy over to the Polygraphic Co., which reproduced, without type-setting, by a photographic process, 3,000 copies for which he paid, some of which he distributed, and some of which he destroyed.

 All of this was done after defendant had obtained copies of the John Simmons Co. catalog in question.

 Defendant says that the information on the copy he sent to the Polygraphic Co. he obtained from jobbers, and occasionally from manufacturers in the form of cuts or photographs. He says he remembers writing to jobbers, but does not remember writing to manufacturers. He did not produce any witness, who was a jobber or manufacturer, to substantiate his story. I believe him to be in error. The results of a detailed examination of the plaintiff's John Simmons Co. catalog (Ex. 1), and defendant's catalog (Ex. ...


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