Page:United States Reports, Volume 209.djvu/35

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9
WHITE-SMITH MUSIC CO. v. APOLLO CO.
209 U.S.
 
Opinion of the Court.

in connection therewith. The appellant, as assignee of Adam Geibel, the composer, alleged compliance with the copyright act, and that a copyright was duly obtained by it on or about March 17, 1897. The answer was general in its nature, and upon the testimony adduced a decree was rendered, as stated, in favor of the Apollo Company, defendant below, appellee here.

The action was brought under the provisions of the copyright act, § 4952 (3 U.S. Comp. Stat. Sup. 1907, p. 1021), giving to the author, inventor, designer or proprietor of any book, map, chart, dramatic or musical composition the sole liberty of printing, reprinting, publishing, completing, copying, executing, finishing and vending the same. The Circuit Courts of the United States are given jurisdiction under § 4970 (3 U.S. Comp. Stat. 3416) to grant injunctions according to the course and principles of courts of equity in copyright cases. The appellee is the manufacturer of certain musical instruments adapted to be used with perforated rolls. The testimony discloses that certain of these rolls, used in connection with such instruments, and being connected with the mechanism to which they apply, reproduce in sound the melody recorded in the two pieces of music copyrighted by the appellant.

The manufacture of such instruments and the use of such musical rolls has developed rapidly in recent years in this country and abroad. The record discloses that in the year 1902 from seventy to seventy-five thousand of such instruments were in use in the United States, and that from one million to one million and a half of such perforated musical rolls, to be more fully described hereafter, were made in this country in that year.

It is evident that the question involved in the use of such rolls is one of very considerable importance, involving large property interests, and closely touching the rights of composers and music publishers. The case was argued with force and ability, orally and upon elaborate briefs.

Without entering into a detailed discussion of the mechanical