Werckmeister v. American Tobacco Co.
207 U.S. 375 (1907)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Werckmeister v. American Tobacco Co., 207 U.S. 375 (1907)

Werckmeister v. American Tobacco Company

No. 29

Argued October 30, 1907

Decided December 16, 1907

207 U.S. 375


Section 4965, Rev.Stat., as amended by the Act of March 2, 1895, 28 Stat. 965, is penal in nature and cannot be extended by construction; it contemplates a single action for the recovery of plates and copies infringing a copyright, and for the money penalty for the copies found. Such an action is wholly statutory, and all the remedies given by the statutes must be exhausted therein, and after the owner of the copyright has recovered judgment for possession of the plates and copies, he cannot maintain a separate action to recover the money penalty.

There is no requirement in § 4965, Rev.Stat., that the United States shall be a party to the action provided for the recovery of plates and copies found

Page 207 U. S. 376

and for penalties; the evident purpose of that section is that the proprietor of the copyright hall account to the United States for one-half the money penalty recovered.

148 F. 1022 affirmed.

The facts, which involve the construction of § 4965, Rev.Stats., as amended by the Act of March 2, 1895, 28 Stat. 965, and the nature of the action to recover penalties thereunder for violation of copyright, are stated in the opinion.

Page 207 U. S. 379

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