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Burrow-Giles Lithographic Co. v. Sarony

United States Supreme Court
111 U.S. 53 (1884)


Napoleon Sarony (plaintiff) was a photographer. One of his photographs was a portrait of Oscar Wilde, entitled Oscar Wilde No. 18. Sarony arranged all aspects of the photograph, from the background to the clothing, pose, and expression of the subject. Burrow-Giles Lithographic Company (Burrow-Giles) (defendant) reproduced Oscar Wilde No. 18 without Sarony’s permission. Sarony brought suit against Burrow-Giles, alleging that Burrow-Giles had violated Sarony’s copyright of the photograph under section 4952 of the Revised Statutes of the United States (Revised Statutes), which protected photographs with works such as musical compositions, engravings, and paintings. The district court found for Sarony. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Miller, J.)

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