2003 Dastar Abridged

2003 Dastar Abridged - DASTAR CORPORATION v TWENTIETH...

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1 DASTAR CORPORATION v. TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION et al. 539 U.S. 23 (2003) Justice Scalia delivered the opinion of the Court. In this case, we are asked to decide whether §43(a) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a), prevents the unaccredited copying of a work, and if so, whether a court may double a profit award under § 1117(a), in order to deter future infringing conduct. I In 1948, three and a half years after the German surrender at Reims, General Dwight D. Eisenhower completed Crusade in Europe, his written account of the allied campaign in Europe dur- ing World War II. Doubleday published the book, registered it with the Copyright Office in 1948, and granted exclusive television rights to an affiliate of respondent Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation (Fox). Fox, in turn, arranged for Time, Inc., to produce a television series, also [*26] called Crusade in Europe, based on the book, and Time assigned its copyright in the series to Fox. The television series, consisting of 26 episodes, was first broadcast in 1949. It combined a sound- track based on a narration of the book with film footage from the United States Army, Navy, and Coast Guard, the British Ministry of Information and War Office, the National Film Board of Can- ada, and unidentified "Newsreel Pool Cameramen." In 1975, Doubleday renewed the copyright on the book as the "'proprietor of copyright in a work made for hire.'" App. to Pet for Cert. 9a. Fox, however, did not renew the copyright on the Crusade television series, which expired in 1977, leav- ing the television series in the public domain. In 1988, Fox reacquired the television rights in General Eisenhower's book, including the exclu- sive right to distribute the Crusade television series on video and to sub-license others to do so. Re- spondents SFM Entertainment and New Line Home Video, Inc., in turn, acquired from Fox the ex- clusive rights to distribute Crusade on video. SFM obtained the negatives of the original television series, restored them, and repackaged the series on videotape; New Line distributed the videotapes. Enter petitioner Dastar. In 1995, Dastar decided to expand its product line from music compact discs to videos. Anticipating renewed interest in World War II on the 50th anniversary of the war's end, Dastar released a video set entitled World War II Campaigns in Europe. To make Campaigns, Dastar purchased eight beta cam tapes of the original version of the Crusade television series, which is in the public domain, copied them, and then edited the series. Dastar's Campaigns series is slightly more than half as long as the original Crusade television series. Dastar substituted a new opening sequence, credit page, and final closing for those of the Crusade television series; inserted new chapter-title sequences and narrated chapter introductions; moved the "recap" in the Crusade television series to the [*27] beginning and retitled it as a "preview"; and removed references to and images of the book. Dastar created new packaging for its Campaigns series and (as already
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This note was uploaded on 01/13/2012 for the course LAW 33800A taught by Professor Williamfisher during the Fall '10 term at Harvard.

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2003 Dastar Abridged - DASTAR CORPORATION v TWENTIETH...

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