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
Sex and the Constitution: Sex, Religion, and Law from America's Origins to the Twenty-First CenturySex and the Constitution: Sex, Religion, and Law from America's Origins to the Twenty-First Century
by Geoffrey R. Stone
  • List Price: $35.00
  • Price: $23.79
  • You Save: $11.21 (32%)
from $22.46
View
America's Constitution: A BiographyAmerica's Constitution: A Biography
by Akhil Reed Amar
  • Price: Too low to display
from $5.78
View
Lisa S HiraharaAttorney at LawPRACTICE AREA: Administrative Law, Real Estate Law, Business Law, Environmental Law, Litigation, Industrial Development Law
James J PeritoAttorney at LawPRACTICE AREA: Real Estate Law, Business Law, Litigation, Industrial Development Law
Ruth C RhodesAttorney at LawPRACTICE AREA: Professional Malpractice, Elder Law, Real Estate Law, Landlord & Tenant Law, Contracts, Bankruptcy Law, Wills & Probate, Business Law, Labor & Employment Law, Health Care Law, Constitutional Law & Civil Rights, Consumer Protection, Trusts & Estate Planning, Litigation, Industrial Development Law
JD Supra (press release)The sealed information can then be used to prove ownership of the intellectual property contained in it. While this may provide some evidence of the date of creation, it is not reliable proof that could be used in court and is unlikely to provide any ... more »
Idaho State JournalU.S. Forest Ranger Edward Pulaski helped save the lives of fellow wildland firefighters in Idaho's 1910 Big Burn. He is credited with using his experience to ... more »
Economic TimesBCCL has said in its complaint that Goswami and Sridevi had signed and subscribed to the employment contract wherein one of the conditions was an acknowledgement admitting to intellectual property rights possessed by the company of all work done and ... 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