T.B. Harms Co. v. Eliscu
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
339 F.2d 823 (2d Cir. 1964)
Vincent Youmans composed and copyrighted four songs. Edward Eliscu (defendant) had certain rights in the copyright. When the copyrights of the songs were about expire, Youmans’s children and Eliscu filed copyright renewal applications with the Copyright Office. The children assigned their rights in the renewal to T.B. Harms (Harms) (plaintiff), but Eliscu assigned his rights to a third party. Eliscu, however, had allegedly agreed to assign his rights to Harms in exchange for certain royalties. Harms brought suit in federal court for declaratory relief, seeking to establish ownership of the copyrights. The United States Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed the complaint for lack of federal jurisdiction. Harms appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Friendly, J.)