CITE:  650 F.2d 1365
CMON:  July 1981
PLAIN: Miller, Gene
DEFND: Universal City Studios
COURT: United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
DATE:  July 23, 1981
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of

  Research results are not copyrightable.

JUDGE: RONEY, Circuit Judge
Before RONEY, HILL and KRAVITCH, Circuit Judges.


A sensational kidnapping, committed over a decade ago, furnishes the factual
backdrop for this copyright infringement suit. The issue is whether a
made-for-television movie dramatizing the crime infringes upon a copyrighted
book depicting the unsuccessful ransom attempt. After careful and lengthy
study and consideration, we conclude that the verdict for plaintiff must be
reversed and the cause remanded for a new trial because at the request of
plaintiff and over defendants' objection, the case was presented and
argued to the jury on a false premise: that the labor of research by an
author is protected by copyright.

The decision to reverse is made more difficult because the record and the
arguments to this Court reveal sufficient evidence to support a finding of
infringement and a verdict for plaintiff under correct theories of copyright
law. Plaintiff's presentation and argument to the jury, however, make it
improper to conclude that the short erroneous instruction, imbedded in a
field of proper instructions, was harmless error.


The facts are fully developed in the district court's opinion, Miller v.
Universal City Studios, Inc., 460 F. Supp. 984 (S.D.Fla.1978). A synopsis
will suffice for purposes of this appeal.

In December 1968 the college-aged daughter of a wealthy Florida land
developer was abducted from an Atlanta motel room and buried alive in
a plywood and fiberglass capsule. A crude life-support system kept her
alive for the five days she was underground before her rescue. Gene Miller,
a reporter for the Miami Herald, covered the story and subsequently
collaborated with the victim to write a book about the crime. Published 
in 1971 under the title 83 Hours Till Dawn, the book was copyrighted along
with a condensed version in Reader's Digest and a serialization in the
Ladies Home Journal. The co-author has assigned her interest in this
litigation to Miller.

In January 1972 a Universal City Studios (Universal) producer read the
condensed version of the book and thought the story would make a good
television movie. He gave a copy of the book to a scriptwriter, who
immediately began work on a screenplay. Although negotiations for purchase
of the movie rights to 83 Hours Till Dawn were undertaken by Universal,
no agreement with Miller was ever reached. The scriptwriter was eventually
advised that use of the book in completing the script was "verboten".
The movie was completed, however, and aired as an ABC Movie of the Week,
The Longest Night.

The evidence at trial was conflicting on whether the scriptwriter relied
almost entirely on the book in writing the screenplay or whether he arrived
at his version of the kidnapping story independently. Both plaintiff and
his expert witness testified to numerous similarities between the works.
The jury, which had copies of the book and viewed the movie twice during
the trial, found the movie infringed Miller's copyright and awarded him
over $200,000 in damages and profits.

The most substantial question presented on appeal is whether the district
court erred in instructing the jury that "research is copyrightable".
Because the Court finds reversible error in this regard, other issues
raised on this appeal will be discussed only as necessary to avoid further
confusion on retrial.

Is Research Copyrightable?

The district court instructed the jury that if an author engages in
research on factual matters, "his research is copyrightable".  This
instruction, at best confusing, at worst wrong, was given with some
reluctance by the trial court over the strenuous objection of defendants
on the urging by plaintiff, "That's the heart of the case."

As it develops on appeal, plaintiff may have won without the instruction,
but later explanation by the trial court and the brief on appeal convinces
this Court that the idea conveyed to the jury by the court and trial counsel
contained an erroneous view of the law. In context, the instruction is
found in this portion of the extended jury charge:

     Copyrightability is best defined in terms of what can and cannot be
     copyrighted. Ideas can never be copyrighted. Only the particular
     expression of an idea can be copyrighted. A general theme cannot be
     copyrighted but its expression throughout the pattern of the work,
     the sequence of its events, the development of the interplay of
     its characters, and its choice of detail and dialogue can be
     copyrighted. If, however, the expression of the idea necessarily
     follows from the idea to such an extent that the idea is capable
     of expression only in a more or less stereotyped form, it is not

     Similarly, in a case like the instant one, which deals with factual
     matters such as news events, the facts themselves are not
     copyrightable but the form of expression of the facts and their
     arrangement and selection are copyrightable. Moreover, if an author,
     in writing a book concerning factual matters, engages in research on
     those matters, his research is copyrightable. As was the case with
     ideas, if the expression arrangement and selection of the facts must
     necessarily, by the nature of the facts, be formulated in given ways
     then they are not copyrightable. (Challenged instruction underlined).

It is well settled that copyright protection extends only to an author's
expression of facts and not to the facts themselves. {n1}  See, e.g., Rosemont
Enterprises, Inc. v. Random House, Inc., 366 F.2d 303, 309 (2d Cir. 1966),
cert. denied, 385 U.S. 1009, 87 S. Ct. 714, 17 L. Ed. 2d 546 (1967); Chicago
Record-Herald Co. v. Tribune Association, 275 F. 797, 798-99 (7th Cir. 1921);
Alexander v. Haley, 460 F. Supp. 40, 45 (S.D.N.Y.1978); Lake v. Columbia
Broadcasting System, 140 F. Supp. 707, 708-09 (S.D.Cal.1956). This dichotomy
between facts and their expression derives from the concept of originality
which is the premise of copyright law. Under the Constitution, copyright
protection may secure for a limited time to "Authors ... the exclusive
Right to their respective Writings."  U.S.Const. Art. I, Section 8, cl. 8.
An "author" is one "to whom anything owes its origin; originator; maker;
one who completes a work of science or literature."  Burrow-Giles
Lithographic Co. v. Sarony, 111 U.S. 53, 58, 4 S. Ct. 279, 281, 28 L. Ed.
349 (1884). Obviously, a fact does not originate with the author of a book
describing the fact. Neither does it originate with one who "discovers"
the fact. "The discoverer merely finds and records. He may not claim
that the facts are "original' with him although there may be originality and
hence authorship in the manner of reporting, i. e., the "expression', of
the facts." 1 M. Nimmer, Nimmer on Copyright 2.03(E), at 2-34 (1980).
Thus, since facts do not owe their origin to any individual, they may not
be copyrighted and are part of the public domain available to every person.

The district court's charge to the jury correctly stated that facts cannot be
copyrighted. Nevertheless, in its order denying defendants' motion for a new
trial the court said it viewed "the labor and expense of the research involved
in the obtaining of those uncopyrightable facts to be intellectually distinct
from those facts and more similar to the expression of the facts than to the
facts themselves." Miller v. Universal City Studios, Inc., 460 F. Supp. at
987. The court interpreted the copyright law to reward not only the effort
and ingenuity involved in giving expression to facts, but also the efforts
involved in discovering and exposing facts. In its view, an author could not
be expected to expend his time and money in gathering facts if he knew
those facts, and the profits to be derived therefrom, could be pirated by
one who could then avoid the expense of obtaining the facts himself.
Applying this reasoning to the case at bar, the court concluded "(i)n the
age of television 'docudrama' to hold other than research is copyrightable
is to violate the spirit of the copyright law and to provide to those
persons and corporations lacking in requisite diligence and ingenuity
a license to steal." Id. at 988.

Thus the trial court's explanation of its understanding of its charge
undercuts the argument to this Court that the word "research" was intended
to mean the original expression by the author of the results of the
research, rather than the labor of research.

The issue is not whether granting copyright protection to an author's
research would be desirable or beneficial, but whether such protection
is intended under the copyright law. {n2}  In support of its instruction, 
the district court cited a number of cases, one of which involved the
use of another's historical research in writing a literary work. {n3}

It is difficult to adequately distinguish some of the directory cases, and
particularly the language of the opinions. See Schroeder v. William Morrow
& Co., 566 F.2d 3 (7th Cir. 1977); Adventures in Good Eating, Inc. v. Best
Places to Eat, Inc., 131 F.2d 809 (7th Cir. 1942); Leon v. Pacific Telephone
& Telegraph Co., 91 F.2d 484 (9th Cir. 1937); Jeweler's Circular Publishing
Co. v. Keystone Publishing Co., 281 F. 83 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 259 U.S.
581, 42 S. Ct. 464, 66 L. Ed. 1074 (1922); Southwestern Bell Telephone Co.
v. Nationwide Independent Directory Service, Inc., 371 F. Supp. 900
(W.D.Ark. 1974).  A copyright in a directory, however, is properly viewed
as resting on the originality of the selection and arrangement of the
factual material, rather than on the industriousness of the efforts to
develop the information. See Nimmer, supra, at 3.04. Copyright protection
does not extend to the facts themselves, and the mere use of the information
contained in a directory without a substantial copying of the format does
not constitute infringement. See, e. g., New York Times Co. v. Roxbury
Interface, Inc., 434 F. Supp. 217 (D.N.J.1977) (reference to a copyrighted
index to produce a substantially different type of index is fair use);
Triangle Publications, Inc. v. Sports Eye, Inc., 415 F. Supp. 682 (E.D.Pa.
1976) (holding that data compiled and published by plaintiff in the "Past
Performances" section of the Daily Racing Form could be used by defendant
to make the comparisons and judgments found in its competing publication
Fast Performances without infringing plaintiff's copyright because only
the method or form of expressing the data, and not the data itself, is

In any event, it may be better to recognize the directory cases as being in
a category by themselves rather than to attempt to bring their result and
rationale to bear on nondirectory cases. Under the 1909 Copyright Act,
directories are specifically identified as copyrightable subject matter,
17 U.S.C. 5(a) (1970), {n4}  and the rule is now well settled that they can
be copyrighted, see Nimmer, supra, at 2.04(B). However appropriate it may
be to extend copyright protection to the selection and arrangement of
factual material in a directory if it involves originality and hence
authorship, and however difficult it may be to reconcile these cases with
the principle that facts are not copyrightable, see Nimmer, supra, at 3.04,
the special protection granted directories under the copyright law has
generally not been applied to other factual endeavors. For example, the
labor involved in news gathering and distribution is not protected by
copyright although it may be protected under a misappropriation theory
of unfair competition.  International News Service v. The Associated
Press, 248 U.S. 215, 39 S. Ct. 68, 63 L. Ed. 211 (1918). In the
International News case, the Supreme Court commented in dicta that while
a newspaper story, as a literary production, can by copyrighted,

     the news element the information respecting current events
     contained in the literary production is not the creation of the
     writer, but is a report of matters that ordinarily are publici juris;
     it is the history of the day. It is not to be supposed that the
     framers of the Constitution ... intended to confer upon one who
     might happen to be the first to report a historic event the
     exclusive right for any period to spread the knowledge of it.

     Id. at 234, 39 S. Ct. at 71.

Apart from the directory cases, the only decision cited to this Court which
lends support for the challenged instruction is Toksvig v. Bruce Publishing
Co., 181 F.2d 664 (7th Cir. 1950). In Toksvig, plaintiff had written a
biography of Hans Christian Anderson after extensive research of primary
Danish sources. Defendant, who could not read Danish, copied twenty-four
specific passages from plaintiff's book in writing her own biography. The
Seventh Circuit held the copying of these passages, original translations
from Danish separately copyrightable under 17 U.S.C. 6 (1970), constituted
copyright infringement.  The court went on to reject defendant's fair use
defense, primarily because defendant's use of the translations from
Danish had allowed her to write her biography in one-third the time it
took plaintiff. The court said the question was not whether defendant
could have obtained the same information by going to the sources plaintiff
had used, but whether she in fact had done her own independent research.
Id. at 667.

Although most circuits apparently have not addressed the question, the idea
that historical research is copyrightable was expressly rejected by the
Second Circuit in the more soundly reasoned case of Rosemont Enterprises,
Inc. v. Random House, Inc., 366 F.2d 303 (2d Cir. 1966), cert. denied,
385 U.S. 1009, 87 S. Ct. 714, 17 L. Ed. 2d 546 (1967). In Rosemont, it
was alleged that defendant's biography of Howard Hughes infringed the
copyright on a series of Look articles about Hughes. The district court
had asserted in sweeping language that an author is not entitled to
utilize the fruits of another's labor in lieu of independent research,
relying on Toksvig. The Second Circuit reversed. While not challenging
the holding of Toksvig that substantial copying of specific passages
amounted to copyright infringement, it rejected the language regarding
independent research:

     We ... cannot subscribe to the view that an author is absolutely
     precluded from saving time and effort by referring to and relying
     upon prior published material... It is just such wasted effort
     that the proscription against the copyright of ideas and facts,
     and to a lesser extent the privilege of fair use, are designed
     to prevent.

     366 F.2d at 310 (citations omitted).

The Second Circuit has adhered to its position in the most recent appellate
case to address the question, Hoehling v. Universal City Studios, Inc.,
618 F.2d 972 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 449 U.S. 841, 101 S. Ct. 121,
66 L. Ed. 2d 49 (1980). Hoehling involved various literary accounts of
the last voyage and mysterious destruction of the German dirigible
Hindenberg. Plaintiff A. A. Hoehling published a book in 1962 entitled,
Who Destroyed the Hindenberg?  Written as a factual account in an
objective, reportorial style, the premise of his extensively researched
book was that the Hindenberg had been deliberately sabotaged by a member
of its crew to embarrass the Nazi regime. Ten years later, defendant
Michael McDonald Mooney published his book, The Hindenberg. While a
more literary than historical account, it also hypothesized sabotage.
Universal City Studios purchased the movie rights to Mooney's book and
produced a movie under the same title, although the movie differed
somewhat from the book. During the litigation, Mooney acknowledged
he had consulted Hoehling's book and relied on it for some details in
writing his own, but he maintained he first discovered the sabotage
theory in Dale Titler's Wings of Mystery, also released in 1962.

Hoehling sued Mooney and Universal for copyright infringement. The district
court granted defendants' motion for summary judgment and the Second Circuit
affirmed, holding that, assuming both copying and substantial similarity,
all the similarities pertained to categories of noncopyrightable material.
The court noted the sabotage hypothesis espoused in Hoehling's book was
based entirely on interpretation of historical fact and was not
copyrightable. 618 F.2d at 979.  The same reasoning applied to Hoehling's
claim that a number of specific facts, ascertained through his personal
research, were copied by defendants. Relying on the Rosemont case, the
court stated that factual information is in the public domain and "each
(defendant) had the right to "avail himself of the facts contained' in
Hoehling's book and to "use such information, whether correct or
incorrect, in his own literary work.' " 618 F.2d at 979 (quoting Greenbie
v. Noble, 151 F. Supp. 45, 67 (S.D.N.Y.1957)). See also Suid v. Newsweek
Magazine, 503 F. Supp. 146 (D.D.C.1980).

We find the approach taken by the Second Circuit in Hoehling and Rosemont
to be more consistent with the purpose and intended scope of protection
under the copyright law than that implied by Toksvig. The line drawn between
uncopyrightable facts and copyrightable expression of facts serves an
important purpose in copyright law. It provides a means of balancing the
public's interest in stimulating creative activity, as embodied in the
Copyright Clause, against the public's need for unrestrained access to
information. It allows a subsequent author to build upon and add to prior
accomplishments without unnecessary duplication of effort. As expressed
by the Second Circuit in Hoehling :

     The copyright provides a financial incentive to those who would add
     to the corpus of existing knowledge by creating original works.
     Nevertheless, the protection afforded the copyright holder has never
     extended to history, be [**18]  it documented fact or explanatory
     hypothesis. The rationale for this doctrine is that the cause of
     knowledge is best served when history is the common property of all,
     and each generation remains free to draw upon the discoveries and
     insights of the past. Accordingly, the scope of copyright in
     historical accounts is narrow indeed, embracing no more than the
     author's original expression of particular facts and theories
     already in the public domain.
     618 F.2d at 974.

The valuable distinction in copyright law between facts and the expression
of facts cannot be maintained if research is held to be copyrightable.
There is no rational basis for distinguishing between facts and the
research involved in obtaining facts. To hold that research is copyrightable
is no more or no less than to hold that the facts discovered as a result
of research are entitled to copyright protection. Plaintiff argues that
extending copyright protection to research would not upset the balance
because it would not give the researcher/author a monopoly over the facts
but would only ensure that later writers obtain the facts independently
or follow the guidelines of fair use if the facts are no longer
discoverable.  But this is precisely the scope of protection given any
copyrighted matter, and the law is clear that facts are not entitled to
such protection. We conclude that the district court erred in instructing
the jury that research is copyrightable.

Our inquiry does not end here, however. In reviewing a trial court's
instructions to the jury an appellate court must consider the charge as
a whole from the standpoint of the jury, in view of the allegations made,
the evidence presented and the arguments of counsel. If the charge as a
whole correctly instructs the jury, no reversible error may be committed
even though a portion of the charge may be technically imperfect.
Shelak v. White Motor Co., 581 F.2d 1155, 1161 (5th Cir. 1978); Coughlin
v. Capitol Cement Co., 571 F.2d 290, 300 (5th Cir. 1978).

In this case the erroneous statement of law was one sentence in a charge of
twelve pages correctly stating the distinction between facts and expression
and that facts are not copyrightable. The idea that research is copyrightable
was nevertheless impressed upon the jury throughout the liability phase of
the trial. In opening argument, counsel for plaintiff stressed the amount
of labor and research done by Miller in writing the book. Over defendants'
objection, Miller was permitted to testify extensively regarding the amount
of time spent researching the book. Although relevant to damages, such
testimony was clearly irrelevant to the question of whether defendants'
work had infringed plaintiff's book. In closing argument, plaintiff's
counsel again stressed that everything Miller did in his research for
eighteen to twenty months and put in his book was copyrightable. The fact
that counsel considered the faulty instruction to be "the heart" and "the
guts of the case", as he told the trial court, is further indication that
the "research is copyrightable" theory permeated the entire liability
phase of the trial.

Viewing the record as a whole, the Court is left with a substantial and
ineradicable doubt as to whether the jury was properly guided in its
deliberations. See McCullough v. Beech Aircraft Corp., 587 F.2d 754 (5th Cir.
1979). Because there is uncertainty as to whether the jury was actually
misled, the erroneous instruction cannot be ruled harmless and a new trial
is required.

Exclusion of Defendants' Expert Witness

Before trial the district court entered a general sequestration order
applicable to all witnesses, pursuant to Fed.R.Evid. 615. Although
sequestered, defendants' literary expert witness, Professor Sullivan,
received transcribed portions (known as daily copy) of Gene Miller's
trial testimony.  When discovered on the ninth day of trial, the court
found this to be a clear and intentional violation of the sequestration
order and refused to allow Professor Sullivan to testify.

On appeal defendants challenge both the finding of a violation of the rule
and the exclusion of their expert witness as a sanction for the violation.
Since the sanction applied here would be reasonable for a violation of
rule 615, we address only whether the district court correctly held that
a violation occurred.

Rule 615 provides:

     At the request of a party the court shall order witnesses excluded
     so that they cannot hear the testimony of other witnesses, and it
     may make the order of its own motion. This rule does not authorize
     exclusion of (1) a party who is a natural person, or (2) an officer
     or employee of a party which is a natural person designed as its
     representative by its attorney, or (3) a person whose presence is
     shown by a party to be essential to the presentation of his cause.

Defendants, contending it was not a violation of the rule to allow Professor
Sullivan to read daily copy in preparation for his court appearance, argue
(1) the reading of daily copy is not a violation because rule 615 literally
prohibits witnesses only from hearing the testimony of other witnesses; (2)
expert witnesses are impliedly exempt from sequestration under the rule;
and (3) Professor Sullivan was expressly exempt from sequestration under
subsection (3) of the rule because he was necessary for the management of
the case.

The purpose of the sequestration rule is to prevent the shaping of testimony
by one witness to match that of another, and to discourage fabrication and
collusion.  Taylor v. United States, 388 F.2d 786 (9th Cir. 1967); United
States v. Leggett, 326 F.2d 613 (4th Cir.), cert. denied, 377 U.S. 955,
84 S. Ct. 1633, 12 L. Ed. 2d 499 (1964). The opportunity to shape testimony
is as great with a witness who reads trial testimony as with one who hears
the testimony in open court. The harm may be even more pronounced with a
witness who reads trial transcript than with one who hears the testimony
in open court, because the former need not rely on his memory of the
testimony but can thoroughly review and study the transcript in formulating
his own testimony. The court properly held that providing a witness daily
copy constitutes a violation of rule 615.

Defense counsel's statement during oral argument that it is a common
practice in the Miami area to allow witnesses to read daily copy despite
the existence of a sequestration order gives us some cause for concern.
There is nothing in the record to substantiate counsel's statement,
however, and we cannot speculate that most attorneys in Miami either do not
realize that reading daily copy violates the sequestration rule or have
adopted a practice that violates the rule. The district judge commented
at trial that in the five years he had been on the bench he had never
heard of allowing witnesses to read daily copy.

Defendants argue that rule 615 must be read to impliedly exclude from
sequestration expert witnesses, who usually do not testify regarding the
facts of the case but only express their opinion based on those facts,
in order to prevent the rule from conflicting with rule 703, {n5}  which
permits an expert to base his opinion on facts or data perceived by him
at trial.  Defendants rely primarily on Morvant v. Construction Aggregates
Corp., 570 F.2d 626 (6th Cir. 1978), cert. dismissed, 439 U.S. 801,
99 S. Ct. 44, 58 L. Ed. 2d 94 (1979), in which the court stated it could
"perceive little, if any, reason for sequestering a witness who is to
testify in an expert capacity only and not to the facts of the case."
Id. at 629. The Morvant court further held, however, that rule 703 does
not furnish an automatic basis for exempting an expert from sequestration
under rule 615.  Id. at 630. We agree. Whether or not it would be
reasonable for a trial court to exempt an expert witness from a
sequestration order, there is no required exemption implied under rule
615. Exemption would be questionable in a case such as this, however,
where defendants' expert was to testify about the two works upon which
Gene Miller was giving his own similarity analysis.

With respect to the contention the witness was exempt under the express
exception provided in subsection (3) of the rule for persons who are
essential to the presentation of a party's case, defendants never sought
an exemption for Professor Sullivan either before trial or after the
violation became known. They only argued that Professor Sullivan's
testimony was crucial to their case.  It also appears that defendants'
literary expert is probably not the type of expert intended to be exempt
under this exception. The Notes of the Advisory Committee on the Proposed
Rules suggest the third category of exempt witnesses contemplates such
person as either an agent who handled the transaction being litigated or
an expert needed to advise counsel in the management of the litigation.
We need not decide the issue, however, because defendants failed to argue
this exception to the trial court and cannot now raise it on appeal. See
Morvant, 570 F.2d at 628 (rejecting an identical argument for failure to
present it to the district court).

Testimony and Cross-Examination of Plaintiff

Over defendants' objection, the trial judge allowed plaintiff to testify
as a lay witness regarding similarities between his book and defendants'
movie. The court refused to allow defendants to cross-examine plaintiff
and his expert witness regarding similarities between books they had
authored and earlier books by other authors on the same subject. We
perceive no error in either ruling.

The admission of evidence is committed to the sound discretion of the trial
court.  United States v. Ashley, 555 F.2d 462 (5th Cir.), cert. denied,
434 U.S. 869, 98 S. Ct. 210, 54 L. Ed. 2d 147 (1977); United States v.
Hearod, 499 F.2d 1003 (5th Cir. 1974). Fed.R.Evid. 701 is designed
specifically to allow lay witnesses to testify in a conclusory fashion
under certain circumstances. The rule states:

     If the witness is not testifying as an expert, his testimony in the
     form of opinions or inferences is limited to those opinions or
     inferences which are (a) rationally based on the perception of the
     witness and (b) helpful to a clear understanding of his testimony
     or the determination of a fact in issue.

The plaintiff author in this case was in a unique position of being
intimately familiar with the allegedly infringed work. We see no abuse
of discretion in allowing him to testify on the similarities between
the book he had written and defendants' movie.

The district court also did not abuse its discretion in limiting the scope
of defendants' cross-examination of plaintiff and his expert witness. The
thrust of the attempted cross-examination was to show that plaintiff and
his expert had both copied from previous works in their own writings.
Defendants argued to the trial court the cross-examination was relevant
to illustrate that the use of earlier depictions of historical facts was
an accepted literary practice and to cast doubt on the credibility of the
witnesses' testimony on what constitutes unlawful copying. In refusing to
allow defendants to pose this line of questioning, the court found it
irrelevant to the central issue in the trial: whether defendants' movie
infringed plaintiff's copyright. The district court has wide discretion
on matters of relevancy and materiality of evidence, United States v.
Grimm, 568 F.2d 1136 (5th Cir. 1978), and we do not find the determination
of irrelevancy to be reversible error. Even if the evidence was in some
way relevant to the issues at trial, its probative value was substantially
outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice and confusion of the issues,
and therefore could be properly excluded under Fed.R.Evid. 403. The
ruling did not prevent defendants from establishing their fair use defense.

Introduction of Preliminary and Shooting Scripts

To prevail on a claim of copyright infringement, a plaintiff must prove
ownership of the copyright and copying by the alleged infringer. Ferguson
v. National Broadcasting Co., 584 F.2d 111, 113 (5th Cir. 1978); M. Nimmer,
3 Nimmer on Copyright 13.01 (1980). Since there is often no direct evidence
of copying, it is ordinarily established by proving access to the copyrighted
material and substantial similarity between the two works. Nimmer, supra,
at 13.01(B). A defendant can rebut such a showing by offering evidence that
his work was independently created without reference to the prior work,
since a copyright, unlike a patent, does not confer an absolute monopoly
over the expression but only a right of control over the works which are
derived from the copyrighted work.  Fred Fisher, Inc. v. Dillingham,
298 F. 145 (S.D.N.Y.1924); M. Nimmer, 2 Nimmer on Copyright 8.01. If
defendant offers evidence of independent creation, the plaintiff has the
burden of proving that the defendant in fact copied the protected material.

Plaintiff in this case sought to prove copying by establishing access,
substantial similarity, and lack of independent creation. In doing so,
he was permitted to introduce into evidence several preliminary scripts
and the script used in filming the movie.

It was not error for the court to allow plaintiff to introduce the various
scripts used in developing the movie. Because of the different media involved,
examination of the various scripts was relevant to plaintiff's showing of the
process by which the book was transformed into the movie. Moreover, defendants
offered testimony that its movie was created independently from plaintiff's
book. To negate the inference of independent creation, plaintiff offered the
scripts into evidence to show the manner and speed in which the movie was
produced. Thus, the various scripts were relevant and admissible on the
issue of independent creation, even though the ultimate test of infringement
was the film as broadcast. See Cain v. Universal Pictures Co., 47 F. Supp.
1013 (S.D.Cal.1942); DeMontijo v. 20th Century Fox Film Corp., 40 F. Supp. 
33 (S.D.Cal.1941).

In any event, it is doubtful defendants were prejudiced by admission of
the early scripts. They had an opportunity to point out any changes that
were made between these scripts and the movie, and the jury was properly
instructed that the question before them was whether the movie as broadcast
was substantially similar to the book. See Huie v. National Broadcasting
Co., 184 F. Supp. 198 (S.D.N.Y.1960).

Cumulative Recovery of Damages and Profits

In accordance with the jury verdict, plaintiff was awarded $185,000 in
damages and $ 31,750 in profits earned by defendants as a result of their
unlawful infringement. Defendants assert the award of both damages and
profits was improper.

The Copyright Act of 1909, which governed the trial of this case, provides
that an infringer is liable for "such damages as the copyright proprietor may
have suffered due to the infringement, as well as all the profits which the
infringer shall have made from such infringement." 17 U.S.C. 101(b) (1970).
Although the statutory language of section 101(b) explicitly provides
for a cumulative recovery, confusion was engendered by language in the
legislative history of the 1909 Act which indicated the legislators may have
intended only an alternative recovery. H.R.Rep.No.2222, 60th Cong., 2d Sess.
15 (1909). In the face of these contradictory signals, courts have divided
on the issue. Compare Sid & Marty Krofft Television Productions, Inc. v.
McDonald's Corp., 562 F.2d 1157 (9th Cir. 1977); Universal Pictures Co. v.
Harold Lloyd Corp., 162 F.2d 354 (9th Cir. 1947), with Thomas Wilson & Co.
v. Irving J. Dorfman Co., 433 F.2d 409 (2d Cir. 1970), cert. denied,
401 U.S. 977, 91 S. Ct. 1200, 28 L. Ed. 2d 326 (1971); Peter Pan Fabrics,
Inc. v. Jobela Fabrics, Inc., 329 F.2d 194 (2d Cir. 1964); Baldwin Cooke
Co. v. Keith Clark, Inc., 420 F. Supp. 404 (N.D.Ill.1976). The 1976 revision
of the Copyright Act resolved the conflict in favor of cumulative recovery.
See 17 U.S.C.A. 504(b).

The question is one of first impression in this Circuit. This Court generally
adheres to the literal statutory language and has rejected "attempts to use
legislative history to override the unambiguous language of the statute".
Brennan v. Taft Broadcasting Co., 500 F.2d 212, 217 (5th Cir. 1974)
(emphasis in original). See also United States v. Second National Bank
of North Miami, 502 F.2d 535, 539-40 (5th Cir. 1974), cert. denied,
421 U.S. 912, 95 S. Ct. 1567, 43 L. Ed. 2d 777 (1975). The language of
section 101(b) unambiguously provides for the recovery of both actual
damages and profits. This reading is consistent with the purpose of
copyright law to discourage wrongful infringement as well as to compensate
the copyright owner. See F. W. Woolworth Co. v. Contemporary Arts, Inc.,
344 U.S. 228, 233, 73 S. Ct. 222, 225, 97 L. Ed. 276 (1952); H.R. Rep.
No. 94-1476, 94th Cong., 2d Sess. 161, reprinted in (1976) U.S.Code Cong.
& Ad.News 5659, 5777. We therefore hold a plaintiff may recover both
damages sustained by him and profits earned by the infringers as a result
of unlawful infringement.


Additional issues raised by defendants on appeal, including the correctness
of the special verdict form, the propriety of certain comments made by
plaintiff's counsel during closing arguments, and the reasonableness of
the attorney's fee award to plaintiff, need not be decided in light of
the remand for a new trial.



{n1}  Similarly, a copyright protects only the expression of ideas and
not the ideas. The idea-expression dichotomy was given express statutory
recognition in the 1976 Copyright Act. Section 102(b) provides: "In no
case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend
to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept,
principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described,
explained, illustrated, or embodied in such a work." 17 U.S.C.A. 102(b).

{n2}  The statutory law applicable to this infringement action is the
Copyright Act of 1909, 17 U.S.C. 1 et seq. (1970). Although Congress
revised and recodified the law in the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C.A.
101 et seq., the legislative history indicates the revision was not
intended to change the scope of copyright protection under the previous
law: "Its purpose is to restate, in the context of the new single
Federal system of copyright, that basic dichotomy between expression
and idea remains unchanged." House Report on the Copyright Act of 1976,
H.R. Rep. 94-1476, 94th Cong., 2d Sess. 52, reprinted in (1976) U.S. Code
Cong. & Ad. News 5659, 5670.

{n3}   Huie v. National Broadcasting Co., 184 F. Supp. 198 (S.D.N.Y.1960).
In light of the Second Circuit's decisions in Hoehling v. Universal City
Studios, Inc., 618 F.2d 972 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 449 U.S. 841, 101 S.
Ct. 121, 66 L. Ed. 2d 49 (1980), and Rosemont Enterprises, Inc. v. Random
House, Inc., 366 F.2d 303 (2d Cir. 1966), cert. denied, 385 U.S. 1009,
87 S. Ct. 714, 17 L. Ed. 2d 546 (1967), the decision in Huie can no longer
be considered good law in that circuit, absent wholesale appropriation
of expression.

{n4}  Under the Copyright Act of 1976, directories fall into the category
of "compilations", copyrightable under 17 U.S.C.A. 103. A compilation is
defined as "a work formed by the collection and assembling of preexisting
materials or of data that are selected, coordinated, or arranged in such
a way that the resulting work as a whole constitutes an original work
of authorship." 17 U.S.C.A. 101.

{n5}  Fed.R.Evid. 703 provides:

    The facts or data in the particular case upon which an expert bases
    an opinion or inference may be those perceived by or made known to
    him at or before the hearing. If of a type reasonably relied upon
    by experts in the particular field in forming opinions or inferences
    upon the subject, the facts or data need not be admissible in