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Bridgeman Art Library, Ltd. v. Corel Corp.

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
36 F. Supp. 2d 191 (1999)


Facts

Bridgeman Art Library, Limited (Bridgeman) (plaintiff) claimed ownership of the copyrights in color transparencies and digital versions of certain paintings in the United Kingdom. The underlying paintings were in the public domain in the United States. Corel Corporation (Corel) (defendant) sold CD-ROMs that contained digital images of paintings. Bridgeman sued Corel Corporation for copyright infringement in the United States, claiming that some of the images contained on Corel’s CD-ROMs infringed Bridgman’s copyrights in the transparencies and digital images. The district court granted Corel’s motion for summary judgment, holding that the transparencies and digital copies did not meet the originality requirement under United States law and thus could not receive copyright protection. Bridgeman filed a motion for reconsideration, arguing that the United States must honor copyrights from the United Kingdom under the terms of the Berne Convention and the Universal Copyright Convention.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Kaplan, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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