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
An Introduction to Labor Law (ILR Bulletin)An Introduction to Labor Law (ILR Bulletin)
by Michael Evan Gold
  • List Price: $12.95
  • Price: $12.30
  • You Save: $0.65 (5%)
from $9.97
View
Law's EmpireLaw's Empire
by Ronald Dworkin
  • List Price: $33.50
  • Price: $22.09
  • You Save: $11.41 (34%)
from $9.74
View
Andrea L CrawfordAttorney at LawPRACTICE AREA: Environmental Law, Trusts & Estate Planning, Litigation, Animal Law
Howard C CokerAttorney at LawPRACTICE AREA: Personal Injury, Asbestos Litigation, Immigration Law, Environmental Law, Litigation, Animal Law
Jonathan L CarbaryAttorney at LawPRACTICE AREA: Personal Injury, Family Law, Criminal Defense, Litigation, Animal Law, Workers Compensation
China PostLanier, a dreaded former software engineer who made a pretty penny from “intellectual property,” now rakes in cash telling elitist yuppies the Internet was a bad idea. In this latest piece he argues that the solution to capitalism's refusal to spread ... more »
BusinessweekJuly 30 (Bloomberg) -- Apex Medical Corp., a Taiwan-based maker of health-care products, said in a statement yesterday it will appeal a German court's patent infringement ruling relating to headgear used with respiratory therapy masks. The suit was ... more »
The Daily Chronic“This announcement is the latest evidence of the market leading platform that Medbox is building across our management team, board of directors, intellectual property portfolio and product suite,” stated Dr. Bruce Bedrick, a Medbox director. “Our ... 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