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Veeck v. Southern Building Code Congress International, Inc.

293 F.3d 791 (2002)

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Veeck v. Southern Building Code Congress International, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

293 F.3d 791 (2002)

Facts

Southern Building Code Congress International, Inc. (SBCCI) (defendant) wrote model building codes for use by a wide range of civic entities. Although SBCCI encouraged enactment of its codes, which were available for sale, it sought to limit unauthorized copying. To that end, SBCCI obtained copyright protection for its codes. Peter Veeck (plaintiff) operated a website that provided information on North Texas. Veeck wanted to publish SBCCI’s standard building code, which had been adopted by various small towns in the region. Veeck purchased a copy from SBCCI and published it on his website, identifying it not as the work of SBCCI, but as the building codes for the towns of Anna and Savoy. SBCCI demanded that Veeck cease and desist posting the codes. Veeck sought a declaratory judgment in federal district court. SBCCI counterclaimed, alleging copyright infringement, unfair competition, and breach of contract. The court granted summary judgment in favor of SBCCI. Veeck appealed. A panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed. The same court then elected to rehear the case en banc.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Jones, J.)

Dissent (Wiener, J.)

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