Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 18,800+ case briefs...

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 United States Circuit Court for the Southern District of New York found for Sarony. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Miller, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 499,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 499,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 18,800 briefs, keyed to 985 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial