In Mifflin v. Dutton, 190 U.S. 265, 23 S.Ct. 771, 47 L.Ed. 1043, it was held that the publication of a part or parts of an author's works serially without the statutory notice of copyright makes such work public property even though a copyright covering the entire work had previously been taken out. This decision is precisely applicable to the facts in the instant case and has been followed in a number of cases.Summary of this case from Deward Rich v. Bristol Savings Loan Corp.
Argued April 30, May 1, 1903. Decided June 1, 1903.
The preceding case, Mifflin v. R.H. White Co., ante, p. 260, followed, and held, that under the copyright act of 1831 the authorized appearance of an author's work in a magazine without the statutory notice of copyright specially applicable thereto makes it public property and vitiates the copyright previously taken out by the author; and that the copyright of the magazine under its own title by the publisher is not a compliance, so far as the authors are concerned, with the statutory requirements as to notice of copyright in the several copies of each and every edition published.
Mr. Samuel J. Elder and Mr. Edmund A. Whitman for appellants.
Mr. Andrew Gilhooly for appellee.
As the first twenty-nine chapters of "The Minister's Wooing" appeared in the Atlantic Monthly before any steps whatever were taken, either by the publishers or by Mrs. Stowe, to obtain a copyright, it follows that they, at least, became public property.
Mrs. Stowe's copyright of the last thirteen chapters would doubtless have been valid but for the fact that they subsequently appeared in the November and December numbers of the Atlantic Monthly without notice of such copyright. As we have already held that the copyright of the Atlantic Monthly by Ticknor Fields did not operate as notice of the rights of the author to any article therein appearing, it follows from the case just decided that the appearance of the last thirteen chapters in the Atlantic Monthly vitiated the copyright under section five, which provides that no person shall be entitled to the benefit of the act unless he shall give information of his copyright by causing to be inserted in the several copies of each and every edition published during the term secured a notice of such copyright.
It is exceedingly unfortunate that, with the pains taken by the authors of these works to protect themselves against replication, they should have failed in accomplishing their object; but the right being purely statutory, we see no escape from the conclusion that, unless the substance as well as the form of the statute be disregarded, the right has been lost in both of these cases.
The decree in this case is also