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Eastern Microwave, Inc. v. Doubleday Sports, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
691 F.2d 125 (1982)


Facts

Eastern Microwave, Inc. (EMI) (plaintiff) provided retransmissions of television broadcasts to customers outside the service areas of the broadcast stations. As a communications common carrier, EMI would receive the broadcast signals from stations, convert those signals into microwave signals, and then relay the signals via satellite or cable television (CATV) systems to customers for viewing. EMI retransmitted television signals of WOR-TV in New York City for nearly 20 years without objection. Doubleday Sports, Inc. (Doubleday) (defendant), owner of the New York Mets baseball team owned the copyright in the audiovisual work from the Mets games. Doubleday contracted with WOR-TV to broadcast about 100 Mets games per season. After learning of EMI’s retransmission of Mets games, Doubleday informed EMI that it was infringing upon its copyright. EMI brought suit seeking declaratory relief that it was a passive carrier exempt from copyright liability under 17 U.S.C. § 111(a)(3) of the Copyright Act of 1976.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Markey, C.J.)

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