Kalem Co. v. Harper Brothers
222 U.S. 55 (1911)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Kalem Co. v. Harper Brothers, 222 U.S. 55 (1911)

Kalem Co. v. Harper Brothers

No. 26

Argued October 31, November 1, 1911

Decided November 13, 1911

222 U.S. 55

Syllabus

An exhibition of a series of photograph of persons and things, arranged on film as moving picture and so depicting the principal scenes of an author's work as to tell the story, is a dramatization of such work, and the person producing the film and offering them for sale for exhibition, even if not himself exhibiting them, infringes the copyright of the author under Rev.Stat., § 4952, as amended by the Act of March 3, 1891, c. 565, 26 Stat. 1106.

Quaere whether there would be infringement if the illusion of motion were produced from paintings, instead of photographs of real persons, and also quaere whether such photographs can be copyrighted.

Rev.Stat., § 4952, as amended by the Act of March 3, 1891, c. 565, 26 Stat. 1106, confines itself to a well known form of reproduction, and does not exceed the power given to Congress under Art. I, § 8, cl. 8 of the Constitution to secure to authors the exclusive right to their writings for a limited period.

169 F. 61 affirmed.

The facts are stated in the opinion.

Page 222 U. S. 60

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