Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 20.djvu/356

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etc., Guide," and Mackey's "Shippers' Guide." The proprietor of the "Monitor Guide" sued Mr. Mackey for violation of copyright. The judge said that such guide-books are a proper subject of copyright; but that the right was not so broad and full as the plaintiff claimed; it did not forbid Mackey from collecting similar information to that given in the "Monitor Guide," about post-office, railroad, express, and telegraph business, or from arranging and exhibiting it in much the same general ways, but only from copying material portions of the "Monitor Guide."

Recent decisions on the question whether books designed to be used in a quasi-mechanical way—ruled account-books, bond-registers, and the like—should be copyrighted or patented, were narrated in an article in the July number. Nothing new on that topic has transpired, except that a patent has just been sustained for an improved "checkbook."

Does the copyright law sustain property in the mere title of a book? The tendency of thought is that the law of trade-marks affords such protection as there is for a title, as distinguished from the body or contents; that the purpose of the copyright law is to secure the exclusive right of publishing the substantial work, and that it protects the title only as being a part of the work. But it can not be said that this has been sharply decided. When the directory for London was established, which was about seventy years ago, the necessary information was gathered or furnished by post-office clerks; hence the book was called, naturally enough, the "Post-Office Directory." In later years the post-office aid was discontinued; the proprietor of the enterprise continued, however, to issue the book annually, on information gathered by his own canvassers. He adhered to the familiar title, registering the successive volumes, under the copyright laws, as "Post-Office Directories." At length a rival commenced a directory for Bradford, which lay within one of the districts covered by one of the issues of the old directory; and this rival called his work also "Post-Office Directory." He has been sued; but both courts held that he was not violating copyright; nor, indeed, the trade-mark law.

Miss Braddon wrote a novel to which she gave the name "Splendid Misery," and sold it to the London journal called "The World," conducted by Mr. Edmund Yates; and "The World" began publishing it as a serial story. This occurred in 1879. Before long the proprietor of "Once a Week" entered a complaint, saying that in 1874 he had purchased and published in his paper a novel by C. H. Hazlewood (which had been duly copyrighted), also under the title "Splendid Misery." He did not suggest that Miss Braddon's story imitated Mr. Hazlewood's; the only question was whether he had an exclusive right to the title, by virtue of the copyright law. The vice-chancellor thought his claim good; and, indeed, there is an earlier decision to much the same effect. But Miss Braddon's publisher learned that, as