From our private database of 33,800+ case briefs...
Gaste v. Kaiserman
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
863 F.2d 1061 (1988)
Louis Gaste (plaintiff) composed the music to the song “Pour Toi” in 1956. The song was part of the score to a French movie. Gaste registered the sheet music for the song with the United States Copyright Office. Neither the song nor the movie was commercially successful. In 1973, Morris Kaiserman (defendant), who was professionally known as Morris Albert, recorded the song “Feelings” with lyrics written by Kaiserman. Kaiserman’s song was successful, earning gold records in a number of countries. Gaste sued Kaiserman, alleging that the song infringed on Gaste’s copyright. Gaste alleged that Kaiserman obtained access to Gaste’s song through Kaiserman’s publisher, Fermata International Melodies, Inc. (defendant). During the trial, conflicting evidence was submitted regarding the value of the lyrics versus the music. In some cases, the value had been determined to be 50 percent to each component. However, there were cases in which the value of the lyrics was set as low as 15 percent. Also, a French version of Kaiserman’s song, with different lyrics, was successful. The evidence was not clear whether the French song’s success resulted from good lyrics or from good music independent of the lyrics. After trial, the jury awarded Gaste damages of $268,000 from Fermata and $233,000 from Kaiserman. These damages awards represented approximately 80 percent of the revenue received by Fermata and 88 percent of the revenue received by Kaiserman. Fermata appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Newman, J.)
What to do next…
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 604,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
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.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 604,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 33,800 briefs, keyed to 984 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.