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Russell v. Price

612 F.2d 1123 (1979)

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Russell v. Price

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

612 F.2d 1123 (1979)

Facts

George Bernard Shaw copyrighted his stage play Pygmalion in 1913. In 1938 a film version of the play was made and copyrighted by MGM. Shaw renewed the copyright on his play in 1941. Shaw died in 1950, and his heirs (Shaw’s heirs) (plaintiffs) inherited copyright ownership of the play, which extended to 1988. Meanwhile, MGM’s copyright on the Pygmalion film expired in 1966, causing the film to become public domain. Daniel Price (defendant) distributed copies of the film. Shaw’s heirs brought suit. The district court found in favor of Shaw’s heirs. Price appealed. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Goodwin, J.)

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