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Yadkoe v. Fields
California Court of Appeals
66 Cal. App. 2d 150, 151 P.2d 906 (1944)
In 1938, Harry Yadkoe (plaintiff) wrote comedic stories and other jokes (the materials) to be used in movies and radio. By letter, Yadkoe sent some of the materials to W. C. Fields, an actor and comedian. Fields, also by letter, acknowledged receipt of the materials and asked Yadkoe to submit additional materials, which Yadkoe did. Fields subsequently used the materials in a motion picture and in radio programs. Yadkoe filed suit against Fields, alleging breach of the implied contract to pay a reasonable value for use of Yadkoe’s material. Fields’s motion for a nonsuit was denied, and a jury found in Yadkoe’s favor. Fields appealed, arguing, in part, that the material Yadkoe had sent to Fields was not protectable and that Fields was therefore free to use the material without compensating Yadkoe.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Doran, J.)
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