558 F.2d 91 (2nd Cir. 1977), 937, Wainwright Securities, Inc. v. Wall St. Transcript Corp.

Docket Nº:937, Docket 76-7468.
Citation:558 F.2d 91
Party Name:WAINWRIGHT SECURITIES INC., Plaintiff-Appellee, v. WALL STREET TRANSCRIPT CORPORATION and Richard A. Holman, Defendants-Appellants.
Case Date:June 15, 1977
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

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558 F.2d 91 (2nd Cir. 1977)





No. 937, Docket 76-7468.

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

June 15, 1977

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Argued April 27, 1977.

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Eaton, Van Winkle, Greenspoon & Grutman, New York City (Samuel N. Greenspoon, New York City, of counsel), for appellant Wall Street Transcript Corp.

Richard A. Holman, pro se.

Cahill, Gordon & Reindel, New York City (Roy L. Regozin, Stephen A. Greene, Ira A. Finkelstein, Helene Fromm, New York City, of counsel), for plaintiff-appellee.

Before MEDINA, OAKES, Circuit Judges, and MISHLER, District Judge. [*]

MISHLER, District Judge.

This is an appeal from a preliminary injunction entered in the Southern District of New York, prohibiting the defendants-appellants, the Wall Street Transcript Corporation and Richard A. Holman, from publishing in their newspaper abstracts of plaintiff-appellee's copyrighted research reports.

The plaintiff-appellee H. C. Wainwright & Co. ("Wainwright") is a Massachusetts limited partnership, organized in 1868, that is engaged in the institutional research and brokerage business. While the company is registered as a broker-dealer with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Wainwright's specialty, from which it derives most of its profits, is the preparation of in-depth analytical reports on approximately 275 industrial, financial, utility and railroad corporations. These reports, written by analysts employed by Wainwright, examine a company's financial characteristics, trends in an industry, major developments at a company, growth prospects, and profit expectations, and highlight both corporate strengths and weaknesses. The analyst's conclusions and predictions are a major feature of the reports.

Often, a research report requires several months of an analyst's time, some of which is spent interviewing the officials at the company. The reports, which may run as many as 40 pages in length, are used by more than 900 Wainwright clients, including major banks, insurance companies and mutual funds. Wainwright copyrights its reports in accordance with the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. §§ 1 et seq. (1970 & Supp.1975).

The Wall Street Transcript Corporation publishes the Wall Street Transcript ("Transcript"), a weekly newspaper concerned with economic, business, and financial news. The appellant Richard Holman is the chairman and sole stockholder of the publishing company, and has, apparently, editorial control of the newspaper. The Transcript's subscribers include colleges, libraries, lawyers, brokers, accountants and corporations. It is available to the public by subscription or at some newsstands.

One of the Transcript's major features is the "Wall Street Roundup," a column consisting almost exclusively of abstracts of institutional research reports. 1 Indeed, in

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advertisements in such publications as Barron's, the Transcript promises readers "a fast-reading, pinpointed account of heavyweight reports from the top institutional research firms." (162a).

In 1974, the Transcript began publishing abstracts of Wainwright's research reports. In April, 1976, Wainwright began copyrighting its reports but, despite protests, Transcript continued to publish the abstracts in the Wall Street Roundup. On July 9, 1976, Wainwright began an action pursuant to the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. §§ 1 et seq., alleging copyright infringement and unfair trade practices, and seeking injunctive and monetary relief. On August 19, 1976, after a hearing, Judge Lasker granted Wainwright's motion for a preliminary injunction. 418 F.Supp. 620 (S.D.N.Y.1976). We affirm.

In this circuit, a preliminary injunction can be granted if plaintiff shows irreparable injury, combined with either a probability of success on the merits, or a fair ground for litigation and a balance of the hardships in his favor. See Sonesta International Hotels Corp. v. Wellington Associates, 483 F.2d 247, 250 (2d Cir. 1973). In copyright cases, however, if probable success a prima facie case of copyright infringement can be shown, the allegations of irreparable injury need not be very detailed, because such injury can normally be presumed when a copyright is infringed. Robert Stigwood Group Ltd. v. Sperber, 457 F.2d 50, 55 (2d Cir. 1972); American Metropolitan Enterprises of New York v. Warner Bros. Records, 389 F.2d 903, 905 (2d Cir. 1968); Uneeda Doll Co. v. Goldfarb Novelty Co., 373 F.2d...

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