Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 18,400+ case briefs...

Zacchini v. Scripps-Howard Broadcasting Co.

United States Supreme Court
433 U.S. 562 (1977)



A reporter for Scripps-Howard Broadcasting Company (defendant) attended a county fair and attempted to film Zacchini (plaintiff) performing a human cannonball act. Zacchini asked the reporter not to film the act. The following day, the reporter returned and filmed the act. Scripps-Howard broadcast a 15 second clip of Zacchini’s act on the local nightly news. Zacchini filed suit in state court seeking damages for appropriation of professional property. The state supreme court held that Zacchini had a right to control the publicity of his act, but also held that the media had a constitutional privilege to broadcast all or part of a newsworthy performance without compensation to the performer. The state court denied Zacchini’s claim for damages. Zacchini petitioned the United States Supreme Court for review.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (White, J.)

Dissent (Powell, 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 497,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read 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. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 497,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 18,400 briefs, keyed to 985 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.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial