Selected Cases

Harper & Row Publishers, Inc. v. Nation Enterprises, Inc.

501 F.Supp. 848 (S.D.N.Y. 1986), aff'd 723 F.2d 195 (2d Cir. 1983), reversed and remanded, 471 US. 539 (1988)

The Nation magazine, without authorization, had copied portions of former President Gerald Ford's unpublished memoirs. In this landmark case involving the fair use doctrine, the U.S. Supreme Court's 1985 decision to reinstate the district court decision for the plaintiffs remains the seminal copyright fair use case under the 1976 Copyright Act. Roger Zissu won the case at trial, establishing that the unpublished status of a work narrows the scope of permissible fair use of a work and that a news reporting purpose alone does not justify excessive copying under the fair use doctrine. 

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