Page:The Green Bag (1889–1914), Volume 25.pdf/427

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The Green Bag

without stopping and giving his name and address and the operator's license number, after causing injury to a person or to property due to the culpability of the operator or to accident. The Court (Cullen, Ch. J.) thus reverses the judgments of the Appellate Division and of the Court of General Sessions. The decision, how ever, was based upon narrow technical grounds rather than on the broad police power of the state. Hogan, J., dissented. (Reported in N. Y. Law Jour., June 24.) Unfair Competition. Deceptive Reproduc tions of Photographer's Product — Copyright Pro tection Essential. N. Y. Plaintiff, a photographer using the word "White" as a trade name on its photographs, ob tained an injunction against a firm reproducing cop es of the plaintiff's portraits in large quanti ties, ordering the defendant firm to desist from such reproduction unless the copies bore in addi tion to the plaintiff's trade name, the words "Reproduced by Apeda." The defendants ap pealed, and the Appellate Division of the Appel late Supreme Court (Clarke, J.) reversed the decree (May, 1913) on the ground that the plain tiff had no copyright, the portraits being the property of the plaintiff's customers, and there fore could not put a stop to competitive prac tices which are legitimate in all cases where the protection of the copyright law has not been secured. White Studio v. Dreyfoos, N. Y. Law Jour. June 10. Water Powers. Rights of Riparian Owners in Navigable Rivers — Condemnation of Private Prop erty — Nature of Ownership in Water Power. u. s. By the decision of the United States Supreme Court May 26, in U. S. v. Chandler-Dunbar Water Power Co., 229 U. S. 53 (L. ed. adv. sheets, no. 15, p. 667), a water power policy has been forced upon the Government. In that case the water power companies complained of unsatisfactory awards made to them in condemnation proceed ings under an Act of Congress of 1909 providing for the taking of lands and property in the St. Marys ship canal for improvements of navi gation. The Supreme Court, Mr. Justice Lurton writing the opinion, refused to recognize any private right of ownership in the water power of the river for which the companies could claim compensation. The technical title to the beds of the navigable rivers of the United States, said the Court, is

either in the states in which the rivers are situ ated, or in the owners of the lands bordering such rivers. Whether in one or the other is a question of local law. Upon the admission of Michigan into the Union the bed of the St. Marys river passed to the state, and under the laws of that state the riparian owner ac quires title as far as the middle thread of the stream. This title to the bed of the river is at best, said the Court, a qualified one, subordi nated to the right of public navigation and to the absolute power of Congress over the im provement of navigable rivers. The owner's title is qualified by the right of the United States to place structures in the bottom of the river in aid of navigation, and therefore the riparian owner could not claim compensation for such use of the river bottom. "The broad claim that the water power of the stream is appurtenant to the bank owned by it, and not dependent upon ownership of the soil over which the river flows, has been ad vanced. But whether this private right to the use of the flow of the stream be based on the qualified title which the company had to the bed of the river over which it flows or the ownership of land bordering upon the river is of no prime importance. In neither event can there be said to arise any ownership of the river. Ownership of a private stream wholly upon the lands of an individual is conceivable; but that the running water in a great navigable stream is capable of private ownership is incon ceivable." For these reasons the Court held that Congress having determined that the entire St. Marys river between the American bank and the inter national line was "necessary for the purposes of navigation of said waters, and the waters con nected therewith," that determination was con clusive in condemnation proceedings instituted by the United States under that act, and there was no room for a judicial review of the judg ment of Congress that the flow of the river was not in excess of any possible needed navigation, or for a determination that, if in excess, the ripa rian owners, having title under the local law to the bed up to the middle thread of the stream, had any private right in such excess which must be paid for if they had been excluded from its use. It was also held that Congress did not act arbitrarily in determining that, for the purposes of navigation, the entire flow of the rapids and falls of the St. Marys river should be devoted exclusively to that end.