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Mathew Bender & Co. v. West Publishing Co., 158 F.3d 693 (1998) p157


Copyrightable material


Manufacturers of compact disc-read only memory (CD-ROM) discs containing compilations of judicial opinions brought action seeking judgment declaring that their insertion of citations within judicial opinions to show location of particular text in publisher's printed version of opinions (known as "star pagination") did not infringe publisher's copyrights in its printed compilations of judicial opinions.


The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Martin, J., 1996 WL 774803, granted summary judgment to manufacturers, and publisher appealed.


Whether the page break numbers on a CD-ROM constituted original expression in the West system.


Page numbers are not copyrightable. Time, money, are not measures of copyrightable material.


Page numbers in this matter are not copyrightable subject matter.


The Court of Appeals, Jacobs, Circuit Judge, held that: (1) star pagination did not create copy of any protected elements of publisher's printed compilations; (2) use of star pagination did not infringe copyright in publisher's arrangement of cases; and (3) use of star pagination did not amount to contributory infringement. Volume and page numbers of publisher's printed compilations of judicial opinions were not original components of compilations and were not themselves protected by publisher's compilation copyright.

Insertion of citations into judicial opinions compiled on manufacturer's compact disc-read only memory

(CD-ROM) discs to show the location of particular text, by page number, in a publisher's printed compilations

of such opinions (known as "star pagination") did not amount to contributory infringement of publisher's

arrangement of cases in its printed compilations, even if user of discs could manipulate data to resequence

cases into publisher's original arrangement, because discs had substantial noninfringing uses.


The court noted that the Eighth Circuit had ruled the opposite, but concluded that the circuit had incorrectly decided those cases.