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Random House, Inc. v. Rosetta Books LLC

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
150 F. Supp. 2d 613 (S.D.N.Y. 2001), aff'd 283 F.3d 490 (2d Cir. 2002), 283 F.3d 490 (2d Cir. 2002), 150 F.Supp.2d 613 (S.D.N.Y. 2001)



Random House, Inc. (plaintiff) originally signed licensing agreements with a number of authors. The agreements granted Random House the exclusive right to print, publish, and sell the authors’ works in book form. At the time these agreements were signed, literary works like those produced by the authors did not exist in digital or electronic form. Each author, pursuant to his respective licensing agreement, granted Random House the right to his work but withheld certain rights of distribution (e.g.,recording rights for the published work). However, in the year 2000, Rosetta Books LLC (defendant) began distributing literary works in an electronic form known as ebooks, i.e., books that could be read on a computer screen or another electronic device, such as an ebook reader. Rosetta contracted with several of the authors whose work was already licensed to Random House in order to obtain the right to distribute the authors’ literary works in ebook form. Random House brought a copyright-infringement action to enjoin Rosetta from selling the ebooks.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Stein, J.)

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