In this case, the court found that subsequent editions to a book without alterations or additions should have the same copyright, because they find their only protection in the original copyright; but second or subsequent editions, with notes or other improvements, are new books, within the meaning of the copyright acts, and the authors or proprietors of the same are required to “deposit a printed copy of such book,” and “give information of copyright being secured,” as if no prior edition of the work had ever been published. The term of the copyright as to the notes or improvements, is computed from the time of recording the title thereof, and not from the time of recording the title of the original work. Copyrights afford no protection to what was not in existence at the time when they were granted.
The court in this case examined the justifiable use of original materials, forming the basis for the fair use doctrine. The court found that , “the question of piracy, often depend upon a nice balance of the comparative use made in one of the materials of the other; the nature, extent, and value of the materials thus used; the objects of each work; and the degree to which each writer may be fairly presumed to have resorted to the same common sources of information, or to have exercised the same common diligence in the selection and arrangement of the materials.”
This is the earliest cases identifying the compiler’s effort of a work as the critical contribution justifying copyright protection. This type of analysis came to be known as the “sweat of the brow” doctrine.