140 F.2d 266 (2nd Cir. 1944), 187, Edward B. Marks Music Corp. v. Jerry Vogel Music Co.

Docket Nº:187.
Citation:140 F.2d 266, 60 U.S.P.Q. 257
Party Name:EDWARD B. MARKS MUSIC CORPORATION v. JERRY VOGEL MUSIC CO., Inc.
Case Date:January 26, 1944
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
 
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Page 266

140 F.2d 266 (2nd Cir. 1944)

60 U.S.P.Q. 257

EDWARD B. MARKS MUSIC CORPORATION

v.

JERRY VOGEL MUSIC CO., Inc.

No. 187.

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit.

January 26, 1944

Arthur E. Garmaize, of New York City, for appellant.

Arthur F. Driscoll, of New York City, for appellee.

Before L. HAND, CHASE, and FRANK, Circuit Judges.

L. HAND, Circuit Judge.

The plaintiff appeals from a judgment, dismissing its complaint after trial in an action for the infringement of the copyright of a song. The infringement is conceded, but the defendant justifies on the ground that it is in equity a joint owner of the copyright. The facts, which are not in dispute, are as follows. In the year 1893, one, Edward B. Marks, composed the words for a song entitled, 'December and May, ' which he took to a publisher of songs, named Harding, who bought it. Harding, without Mark's knowledge, engaged one Loraine, to compose music for the words, which Loraine did; and on November 9, 1893, Harding duly complied with the requirements of the then existing copyright law, published the song, and secured the copyright upon it as a 'musical composition.' Marks and Loraine never met until years later, and had not therefore worked in conjunction, except that Marks intended the words to be set to music which someone else should compose, and that Loraine understood that he was composing music for those particular words. On November 11, 1920, within the

Page 267

year before the copyright expired, Marks applied for a renewal of the copyright upon the song as a 'musical composition', and procured a certificate of renewal to himself as author; and this renewed copyright is now vested by assignment in the plaintiff. Loraine never applied for renewal, but he assigned all his rights in the song to the defendant on July 20, 1940.

We decided in Maurel v. Smith, 2 Cir., 271 F. 211, that if one of several authors took out the copyright in his own name upon a joint work, the copyright was valid, but the copyright owner held it upon a constructive trust for the other authors. This we extended to the renewal of a copyright in Silverman v, Sunrise Pictures Corporation, 2 Cir., 273 F. 909, 19 A.L.R. 289. Carter v. Bailey, 64 Me. 458, 18 Am.Rep. 273, turned upon the fact that there was no equity in the plaintiff's bill, but assumed that the co-tenant might be liable at law, as he always has...

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