714 F.2d 211 (2nd Cir. 1983), 83-7153, Oboler v. Goldin

Docket Nº:83-7153.
Citation:714 F.2d 211
Party Name:560 Arch OBOLER and Nostalgia Lane, Inc., Appellees, v. J. David GOLDIN, Kos Records, Radio Yesteryear, and Radiola Records, Appellants.
Case Date:August 01, 1983
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Page 211

714 F.2d 211 (2nd Cir. 1983)


Arch OBOLER and Nostalgia Lane, Inc., Appellees,


J. David GOLDIN, Kos Records, Radio Yesteryear, and Radiola

Records, Appellants.

No. 83-7153.

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

August 1, 1983

Argued June 10, 1983.

Page 212

Philip C. Pinsky, Pinsky & Pliskin, Syracuse, N.Y. (Ronald Gene Wohl, Ralph I. Greenhouse, George Skandalis, Syracuse, N.Y., Ferziger Wohl Finkelstein & Rothman, New York City, on the brief), for appellants.

Jon Michael Probstein, Probstein & Napolitano, New York City (Anthony Napolitano, Glenn R. Gottfried, New York City, of counsel), for appellees.

Before OAKES and PRATT, Circuit Judges, and METZNER, District Judge. [*]


We are reviewing a directed verdict for the holder of copyrights and his exclusive licensee, who sought damages for the unauthorized use of old time radio plays. At the close of defendants' case before a jury, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Robert J. Carter, Judge, directed a verdict on liability, and made findings on compensatory and punitive damages. By order, he enjoined Goldin, doing business under the names Kos Records, Radio Yesteryear, and Radiola Records, from producing, distributing, selling, or offering for sale any sound reproduction of Oboler's radio plays. The court awarded $33,000 compensatory damages to the exclusive licensee, Nostalgia Lane, Inc.; $15,000 punitive damages to both plaintiffs; $10,000 attorney's fees; and $3,295 costs. We affirm in part and vacate and remand in part.

Whether a verdict should be directed is a question of law; the appellate court therefore applies the same standard on review as did the trial court in granting the motion. A directed verdict is, of course, proper when, without weighing the credibility of the evidence, and viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the party against whom the motion is made, Continental Ore Co. v. Union Carbide & Carbon Corp., 370 U.S. 690, 696, 82 S.Ct. 1404, 1409, 8 L.Ed.2d 777 (1962), a reasonable jury could reach only one proper conclusion. Simblest v. Maynard, 427 F.2d 1, 4 (2d Cir.1970).

After review of the trial record, we affirm the directed verdict as to liability, Judge Carter correctly determined that a reasonable jury could only conclude that Goldin was a copyright infringer because he had violated the exclusive rights of the legal owners of those rights, Oboler and Nostalgia Lane, Inc. 17 U.S.C. § 501(a), (b); Hoehling v. Universal City Studios, Inc., 618 F.2d 972, 977 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 449 U.S. 841, 101 S.Ct. 121, 66 L.Ed.2d 49 (1980). Oboler owned, registered, and renewed copyrights to fourteen radio shows. In 1978, he granted an exclusive license to Nostalgia Lane, Inc., to distribute and sell these shows. Goldin,...

To continue reading