L. A. Westermann Co. v. Dispatch Printing Co.,
249 U.S. 100 (1919)

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U.S. Supreme Court

L. A. Westermann Co. v. Dispatch Printing Co., 249 U.S. 100 (1919)

L. A. Westermann Company v. Dispatch Printing Company

No. 50

Submitted November 15, 1918

Decided March 3, 1919

249 U.S. 100


The liability imposed by § 25 of the Copyright Act attaches in respect of each copyright infringed, though by the same party. P. 249 U. S. 105.

Several and distinct liabilities arise from several distinct infringements of the same copyright by the same party. Id.

Where it is not shown that the infringer made profits, and it appears by the evidence that the damages, though actual, cannot be estimated in money, damages "in lieu of actual damages and profits" are assessable under § 25 of the Copyright Act. P. 249 U. S. 106.

In such cases, the court's conception of what is just in the particular case, considering the nature of the copyright, the circumstances of the infringement, etc., is made the measure of the damages to be paid, but with the express qualification that the assessment must be within the maximum and minimum limits prescribed by the section. Id.

The owner of separate copyrights for pictorial illustrations of styles for women's apparel made a business of granting exclusive licenses, restricted as to time and locality, for the use of the illustrations by dealers in such apparel in advertising their goods, receiving compensation

Page 249 U. S. 101

therefor. In a city covered by such a license, the owner of a newspaper issued daily in thousands of copies widely circulated, published, without the consent of the copyright owner or its licensee, in advertisements of business rivals of the latter, six of the copyrighted illustrations, separately, each in a distinct issue and in all the copies of the paper, five being so published but once, the other twice, in independent advertisements for different advertisers, separated by an interval of some days. Held that there were seven distinct infringements, and that the damages "in lieu of actual damages and profits" under § 25 of the Copyright Act could not be less than $250 for each case.

233 F. 609 reversed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

Page 249 U. S. 102

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