2 Matching Annotations
  1. Feb 2014
    1. I n T h e T r a d e - M a r k C a s e s , t h e C o u r t a d d r e s s e d t h e c o n s t i t u t i o n a l s c o p e o f " w r i t i n g s . " F o r a p a r t i c u l a r w o r k t o b e c l a s s i f i e d " u n d e r t h e h e a d o f w r i t i n g s o f a u t h o r s , " t h e C o u r t d e t e r m i n e d , " o r i g i n a l i t y i s r e q u i r e d . " 1 0 0 U . S . , a t 9 4 . T h e C o u r t e x p l a i n e d t h a t o r i g i n a l i t y r e q u i r e s i n d e p e n d e n t c r e a t i o n p l u s a m o d i c u m o f c r e a t i v i t y : " [ W ] h i l e t h e w o r d w r i t i n g s m a y b e l i b e r a l l y c o n s t r u e d , a s i t h a s b e e n , t o i n c l u d e o r i g i n a l d e s i g n s f o r e n g r a v i n g , p r i n t s , & c . , i t i s o n l y s u c h a s a r e o r i g i n a l , a n d a r e f o u n d e d i n t h e c r e a t i v e p o w e r s o f t h e m i n d . T h e w r i t i n g s w h i c h a r e t o b e p r o t e c t e d a r e t h e f r u i t s o f i n t e l l e c t u a l l a b o r , e m b o d i e d i n t h e f o r m o f b o o k s , p r i n t s , e n g r a v i n g s , a n d t h e l i k e . " I b i d . ( e m p h a s i s i n o r i g i n a l ) .

      In The Trade-Mark Cases the Court addressed the constitutional scope of writings saying for a particular work to be classified "under the head of writings of authors," the Court determined, "originality is required"; independent creation plus a modicum of creativity.

    2. O r i g i n a l i t y i s a c o n s t i t u t i o n a l r e q u i r e m e n t . T h e s o u r c e o f C o n g r e s s ' p o w e r t o e n a c t c o p y r i g h t l a w s i s A r t i c l e I , § 8 , c l . 8 , o f t h e C o n s t i t u t i o n , w h i c h a u t h o r i z e s C o n g r e s s t o " s e c u r [ e ] f o r l i m i t e d T i m e s t o A u t h o r s . . . t h e e x c l u s i v e R i g h t t o t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e W r i t i n g s . " I n t w o d e c i s i o n s f r o m t h e l a t e 1 9 t h c e n t u r y — T h e T r a d e - M a r k C a s e s , 1 0 0 U . S . 8 2 ( 1 8 7 9 ) ; a n d B u r r o w - G i l e s L i t h o g r a p h i c C o . v . S a r o n y , 1 1 1 U . S . 5 3 ( 1 8 8 4 ) — t h i s C o u r t d e f i n e d t h e c r u c i a l t e r m s " a u t h o r s " a n d " w r i t i n g s . " I n s o d o i n g , t h e C o u r t m a d e i t u n m i s t a k a b l y c l e a r t h a t t h e s e t e r m s p r e s u p p o s e a d e g r e e o f o r i g i n a l i t y .

      This Court defined the crucial terms authors and writings.