SW Legal studies in Business

Reprinting of Copyrighted Articles in Electronic Databases without Permission Is Infringement
Description Supreme Court held that periodicals that publish copyrighted articles by various authors do not have the right to republish the articles in other forms, such as electronic databases, without permission of the authors.
Topic Intellectual Property
Key Words Copyrights; Infringement; Authors' Rights; Electronic Databases
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Various freelance authors of articles previously published in various newspapers and magazines brought suit for copyright infringement against the publishers and owners of electronic databases, such as Lexis/Nexis, after their articles were made available in the databases without permission of the authors or payment of royalties. The trial court dismissed the suit; the court of appeals reversed in favor of the authors. The publishers appealed.
Decision Affirmed. The Copyright Act does not authorize the copying engaged in here. The copyrights are owned by the authors, so contributions of their works to collective works, including electronic databases, are owned by the authors. Distribution of the works into such databases can be accomplished by agreement between the authors and publishers.
Citation New York Times Company, Inc. v. Tasini, - S.Ct. - (2001 WL 703909, Sup. Ct., 2001)

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