Legal definition of infringement
Copyright Legal Terminology

infringement

1
“It is of course essential to any protection of literary property, whether at common-law or under the statute, that the right cannot be limited literally to the text, else a plagiarist would escape by immaterial variations. That has never been the law, but, as soon as literal appropriation ceases to be the test, the whole matter is necessarily at large, so that, as was recently well said by a distinguished judge, the decisions cannot help much in a new case. … When plays are concerned, the plagiarist may excise a separate scene; … or he may appropriate part of the dialogue …. Then the question is whether the part so taken is “substantial,” and therefore not a “fair use” of the copyrighted work; it is the same question as arises in the case of any other copyrighted work. ….
But when the plagiarist does not take out a block in situ, but an abstract of the whole, decision is more troublesome. Upon any work, and especially upon a play, a great number of patterns of increasing generality will fit equally well, as more and more of the incident is left out. The last may perhaps be no more than the most general statement of what the play is about, and at times might consist only of its title; but there is a point in this series of abstractions where they are no longer protected, since otherwise the playwright could prevent the use of his “ideas,” to which, apart from their expression, his property is never extended. …. Nobody has ever been able to fix that boundary, and nobody ever can.”
Source: Nichols v. Universal Pictures Corp., 45 F.2d 119 (2d Cir. 1930).
Find a legal term by clicking on the first letter of a legal word or phrase:
Book of the Day in our Store
Share it on TwitterFacebook
Contemporary Issues in Healthcare Law and EthicsContemporary Issues in Healthcare Law and Ethics
by Dean M. Harris
  • List Price: $106.00
  • Price: $69.19
  • You Save: $36.81 (35%)
from $0.93
View
ObamaCare Survival GuideObamaCare Survival Guide
by Nick Tate
  • List Price: $19.95
  • Price: $8.98
  • You Save: $10.97 (55%)
from $0.01
View
Gary L SimplerAttorney at LawPRACTICE AREA: Professional Malpractice, Real Estate Law, Litigation, Industrial Development Law
Joseph W DentAttorney at LawPRACTICE AREA: Personal Injury, Real Estate Law, Business Law, Trusts & Estate Planning, Industrial Development Law
Kevin J ArnelAttorney at LawPRACTICE AREA: Real Estate Law, Tax Law, Business Law, Trusts & Estate Planning, Industrial Development Law
FDA.govThe National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will receive a top national award for the year's most outstanding intellectual property licensing deal, for technology transfer of a pioneering, low-cost meningitis vaccine ... more »
Corporate Counsel (registration)In 2003, while trying to quit a pack-a-day smoking habit, Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik dreamed that he was drowning in a sea that turned into a cloud of vapor. Hon credits this dream with the development of the electronic cigarette—a battery-powered ... more »
Mondaq News Alerts (registration)John Ogier, Chairman of the Intellectual Property Commercial Group in Guernsey, commented: "Guernsey is a strong jurisdiction for IP protection and offers many opportunities for those wishing to develop and manage their rights internationally. The ... more »
It's a free online legal dictionary search engine for definitions of legal terminology and legal words, legal abbreviations, and legal jargon you may meet when reading legal acts, law books, documents, legal forms and other legal content