MY NOTES: Business Organizations | Constitutional Law I | Copyright Law | Evidence | Wills and Trusts

Rockford Map Publishers, Inc. v. Directory Service Co., 768 F.2d 145 (1985) p132


Copyrightable material - facts (maps)


Publisher of plat map showing location, size, and ownership of parcels of land in a county filed suit, contending that another publisher had violated the copyright laws. Another publisher copied the maps but then added things to the maps.


The United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois, Harold A. Baker, J., ordered second publisher to turn its working materials and maps over to the court, enjoined further publication of infringing maps, and awarded first publisher statutory damages of $250 and attorney fees and costs of approximately $22,000. Second publisher appealed.


Is a blank map copyrightable?


The input of time is irrelevant. The end product is what is important as far as what is copyrightable and what is not.


The maps are copyrightable.


Time does not matter how much time it takes to copyright something. The input of time is irrelevant. It only take seconds to take a picture sometimes, yet that is very copyrightable. The Court of Appeals, Easterbrook, Circuit Judge, held that: (1) plat map of first publisher was copyrightable; (2) infringement of first publisher's copyrighted plat map came from fact that second publisher copied first publisher's output; and (3) discretion was not abused in awarding first publisher attorney fees and costs of about $22,000.