Page:Copyright, Its History And Its Law (1912).djvu/76

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44
COPYRIGHT

unpublished work without his consent, and to obtain damages therefor."

Common
law scope
In the Washburn form of the copyright bill it was proposed to include a clause to the effect "that subject to the limitations and conditions of this Act copyright secured hereunder shall be entitled to all the rights and remedies which would be accorded to any other species of property at common law." But this provision was not accepted by the Congressional Committees and does not form part of the copyright code as enacted.

Common
law in U.S.
practice
The common law of England became the common law of its colonies and finally of the sovereign States of the United States, and common law is therefore administered by the state rather than by the federal courts. In the case of Wheaton v. Peters, the U. S. Supreme Court went so far as to say "there is no common law of the United States," but federal courts accept and apply in each State the common law as accepted in that State, and in later years the U. S. Supreme Court has held, as in 1901, in Western Union Tel. Co. v. Call Pub. Co., that where there is a conflict between the common law as accepted by different States or where the rule adopted is not in accord with federal courts, the United States courts will recognize and enforce the common law of England. This use by the federal courts, as here pointed out by ustice Brewer, is peculiarly applicable to interstate transactions. The effect of section 2 of the copyright code is to give the federal courts the special authority of Congress to accept and enforce the principles of common law and of equity in the case of unpublished works.

Statutory
limitations
But in the case of a published work, the courts have denied to copyright works some of the rights and remedies applicable previous to publication, because