De Sylva v. Ballentine

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De Sylva v. Ballentine
Argued April 25–26, 1956
Decided June 11, 1956
Full case nameDe Sylva v. Ballentine
Citations351 U.S. 570 (more)
76 S. Ct. 974; 100 L. Ed. 1415; 109 U.S.P.Q. 431
Case history
PriorBallentine v. DeSylva, 226 F.2d 623 (9th Cir. 1955); cert. granted, 350 U.S. 931 (1956).
Holding
After the death of an author, the widow and children are eligible to renew copyright, equally as a class. Additionally, conditional on state laws, illegitimate children are also eligible for a share of the copyright.
Court membership
Chief Justice
Earl Warren
Associate Justices
Hugo Black · Stanley F. Reed
Felix Frankfurter · William O. Douglas
Harold H. Burton · Tom C. Clark
Sherman Minton · John M. Harlan II
Case opinions
MajorityHarlan, joined by Warren, Reed, Frankfurter, Burton, Clark, Minton
ConcurrenceDouglas, joined by Black

De Sylva v. Ballentine, 351 U.S. 570 (1956), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held after the death of an author, the widow and children are eligible to renew copyright, equally as a class. Additionally, conditional on state laws, illegitimate children are also eligible for a share of the copyright.[1]

This extension to children and widows was not considered retroactive by courts, however. In Easton v. Universal Pictures Co., 288 N.Y.S. 2d 776 (1968), a 1951 document assigning control of a copyright from the author's family after his death was invalidated because "they had, in fact, as the law then appeared to be, nothing to assign." Another limitation to this new right of inheritance was that the family would not be eligible to renew the copyright if it had been passed permanently to another party,[2] which was in line with Fred Fisher Music Co. v. M. Witmark & Sons.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ De Sylva v. Ballentine, 351 U.S. 570 (1956).
  2. ^ Abraham L. Kaminstein. 71st Annual Report of the Register of Copyrights (PDF) (Report). United States Copyright Office. p. 13. Retrieved 2018-08-19.
  3. ^ Fred Fisher Music Co. v. M. Witmark & Sons, 318 U.S. 643 (1943).

External links[edit]