Manners v. Morosco - 252 U.S. 317 (1920)
U.S. Supreme Court
Manners v. Morosco, 252 U.S. 317 (1920)
Manners v. Morosco
Argued March 2, 1920
Decided March 22, 1920
252 U.S. 317
Plaintiff, a dramatic author, granted defendant the "sole and exclusive license and liberty to produce, perform and represent" his copyrighted play in the United States and Canada, defendant agreeing to produce it
"not later than January first, 1913, and to continue . . . for at least seventy-five performances during the season of 1913-1914 and for each theatrical season thereafter for a period of five years;"
in default of 75 performances in any one theatrical year, all of defendant's rights were to revert to plaintiff; the play was to be presented in first-class theaters with competent companies and with a designated actress in the title role, a percentage of the gross receipts going to plaintiff as royalties; if it failed, it was to be let to stock companies, and the royalties thus accruing were to be divided equally between the parties; rehearsal and production were to be under the plaintiff's direction; no changes in the play were to be made without his approval, and he was to have the right to print and publish it, but not within six months of its first production without defendant's consent.
(1) That the grant was not limited to five years' duration. P. 252 U. S. 325.
(2) It did not convey the right to represent the play in motion pictures. Id.
(3) There was an implied covenant by the grantor not to use the reserved motion picture rights to the destruction of the rights granted. P. 252 U. S. 326.
(4) Plaintiff is entitled to an injunction against representation in motion pictures, but upon condition that he also shall abstain from representing or authorizing representation in that form in Canada or the United States. Id.
258 F. 557 reversed.
The case is stated in the opinion.