New York Times Company, Inc. v. Tasini
United States Supreme Court
533 U.S. 483 (2001)
The New York Times Company, Inc. (New York Times) (defendant) had a history of employing freelance authors to bolster the editorial content of its publications. Generally, the freelance authors would register the copyrights in their own articles, and the New York Times would then register a copyright in the collective work in which the articles appeared. The New York Times eventually began to license the text of the collective works to electronic-publishing companies, which took the individual articles contained in the collective works and transferred the articles into searchable electronic databases. When returned in a search, each article was viewed in isolation without the context of the original collective work. The agreements between the freelance authors and the New York Times did not authorize the reproduction and distribution of the articles into an electronic database. In 1993, a group of freelance authors (plaintiffs) brought a copyright-infringement action against the New York Times and the electronic publishers. The district court granted summary judgment for the New York Times, finding that the collective-work copyrights were transferable and that the reproductions in the electronic databases were permissible. On appeal, the court of appeals reversed the decision, holding that the copying of articles into databases was not privileged under the New York Times’s collective-works right. The New York Times appealed the decision.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Ginsburg, 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 725,000 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 725,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 45,700 briefs, keyed to 983 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.