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
North Carolina Legal Research (Carolina Academic Press Legal Research Series)North Carolina Legal Research (Carolina Academic Press Legal Research Series)
by Scott Childs
  • List Price: $25.00
  • Price: $23.75
  • You Save: $1.25 (5%)
from $19.75
View
A Guide to Forensic Testimony: The Art and Practice of Presenting Testimony As An Expert Technical WitnessA Guide to Forensic Testimony: The Art and Practice of Presenting Testimony As An Expert Technical Witness
by Fred Chris Smith, Rebecca Gurley Bace
  • List Price: $54.99
  • Price: $43.54
  • You Save: $11.45 (21%)
from $13.99
View
Scott P KesslerAttorney at LawPRACTICE AREA: Workers Compensation
Derek L SuttonAttorney at LawPRACTICE AREA: Personal Injury, Labor & Employment Law, Workers Compensation
Lisa V BrockAttorney at LawPRACTICE AREA: Labor & Employment Law, Litigation, Workers Compensation
Patent DocsThe John Marshall Law School Center for Intellectual Property, Information & Privacy Law will be holding a program on Ethics in the Practice of Intellectual Property Law on April 24, 2014 in Chicago, IL. The conference will consist of the following ... more »
Lexology (registration)On April 2, 2014, the Competition Bureau (Bureau) released draft updated Intellectual Property Enforcement Guidelines (Revised IPEGs) for a 60-day consultation period. The Revised IPEGs principally reflect the amendments to the Competition Act (Act ... more »
BloombergAlixPartners LLP, the turnaround firm whose consultants seek to revive bankrupt or foundering companies, sued two former partners for allegedly stealing confidential files when they left for rival McKinsey & Co. The New York-based company said the two ... 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