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Update Art, Inc. v. Modin Publishers, 843 F.2d 67 (1988) p.875


international dimensions of copyright


On appeal by publisher and United States distributor of Israeli newspaper from summary judgment entered October 1, 1987 in the Southern District of New York, Ruth V. Washington, United States Magistrate, against them in copyright infringement action based on their unauthorized reproduction of "Ronbo" poster,


, the Court of Appeals, Timbers, Circuit Judge, held: (1) that magistrate's decision to impose preclusive sanctions for failure to comply with her reasonable discovery orders was wholly warranted; (2) that magistrate's calculation of damages was made on the best documentary evidence available and was not clearly erroneous; and (3) that claim was fully cognizable under American copyright laws, and damages occurring from illegal infringement in Israeli newspapers, as well as from newspapers distributed in the United States, were properly awarded. Affirmed.


Although preclusion of evidence and dismissal of action are harsh remedies for discovery violations and should be imposed only in rare situations, they are necessary to achieve purpose of civil rule, regarding sanctions for failure to make or cooperate in discovery, as credible deterrent. Magistrate's imposition of preclusive sanctions against defendants in copyright action was supported by evidence that they repeatedly failed to comply with discovery orders despite ample time to respond and that they were not unfairly surprised by sanctions in light of magistrate's warnings. Copyright laws generally do not have extraterritorial application, except when type of infringement permits further reproduction abroad--such as unauthorized manufacture of copyrighted material in United States.Holder of exclusive contract rights for worldwide publication and distribution of "Ronbo" artwork stated claim for damages that was fully cognizable under copyright law against publisher and United States distributor of Israeli newspaper which contained unauthorized reproduction of "Ronbo" poster; subject-matter jurisdiction existed with respect to infringing newspapers distributed in Israel as well as those distributed in United States, absent evidence that predicate act of legal reproduction occurred in Israel.

Created on: Thursday, November 18, 1999 at 20:41:09 (PST)

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