Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status

Wrench v. Universal Pictures Co.

104 F. Supp. 374 (1952)

Case BriefRelatedOptions
From our private database of 35,400+ case briefs...

Wrench v. Universal Pictures Co.

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

104 F. Supp. 374 (1952)

Facts

Emily Kimbrough Wrench (plaintiff) wrote several short stories, the first of which was published in 1944 in the magazine The Atlantic Monthly and the second of which was published in 1945 in the magazine The New Yorker. The Atlantic Monthly and The New Yorker owned the respective copyrights in the first and second stories. Wrench sold all motion picture rights in the two stories as well as a third to Universal Picture Company (Universal) (defendant). The contract also granted Universal the rights to additional stories and adaptations and required Wrench to protect the copyrights on the stories by ensuring the stories were published with the proper copyright notice pursuant to the Copyright Act of 1909. Universal paid Wrench a down payment and agreed to pay royalties to Wrench for a compilation of her stories to be published in a book. The book was eventually published in 1948 and included a copyright notice with the years 1945 and 1948. Because the notice did not include the year 1944—the date Wrench’s first story was published—or mention the fact that the story had been previously published in The Atlantic Monthly, Universal believed that the copyright notice on the book was insufficient. Universal, therefore, sought to rescind the contract, recoup its down payment, and withhold payment of royalties for the book. Wrench filed suit against Universal for breach of contract. Universal moved for summary judgment, arguing that, because the book’s copyright notice did not include the year the first story was originally published, the first story was thus placed in the public domain when the book was published. Universal argued, therefore, that Wrench had failed to protect the copyrights on the stories as she had agreed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Ryan, J.)

What to do next…

  1. 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 618,000 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
  2. 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 618,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 35,400 briefs, keyed to 984 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.

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership
Here's why 618,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet
  • 35,400 briefs - keyed to 984 casebooks
  • Uniform format for every case brief
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions
  • Top-notch customer support

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership