Bleistein v. Donaldson Lithographing Co.

Citation: 188 U.S. 239
Docket Number: 117
Opinion Date: February 2, 1903

The alleged infringements in this case consisted of copying in reduced form three chromolithographs prepared by employees of the plaintiffs. The Circuit Court directed a verdict for the defendant on the ground that the chromolithographs were not within the protection of the copyright law, which was sustained by the Circuit Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court reversed the Circuit Court of Appeals decision. Copyright protection is not limited to non-commercial matter or to works of fine art. In addition, the threshold for originality for copyright protection is low. A pictorial representation of an actual event can be protected.

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