STEWART ET AL v ABEND, DBA AUTHORS RESEARCH CO



Participants
Compositions

Timeline

Y/M/D Description Place
1942/02/00 "It Had to Be Murder", a short story by Cornell Woolrich, is published in Dime Detective Magazine.
1945/00/00 Woolrich agrees to assign the rights to make motion picture versions of six of his stories, including "It Had to Be Murder," to BG De Sylva Prods for $9,250. He also agrees to a 28-year renewal of the copyrights in the stories at the appropriate time.
1953/00/00 Actor Jimmy Stewart and director Alfred Hitchcock form a production company, Patron, Inc, which obtains the motion picture rights in "It Had to Be Murder" from De Sylva's successors in interest for $10,000.
1968/09/25 Woolrich dies before obtaining the rights in the renewal term for petitioners as promised and without a surviving spouse or child. He leaves his property to a trust administered by Chase Manhattan Bank for the benefit of Columbia University.
1968/12/29 Chase Manhattan Bank renews the copyright in the "It Had to Be Murder" story. Chase Manhattan assigns the renewal rights to respondent Abend for $650 plus 10 percent of all proceeds from exploitation of the story.
1971/00/00 "Rear Window" is broadcast on the ABC television. Abend notifies Hitchcock's trustees, Stewart and MCA Inc, that he owns the renewal rights and their distribution of the motion picture without his permission infringes his copyright on the original story.
1974/00/00 After Hitchcock, Stewart and MCA enter into a second license with ABC to rebroadcast, Abend files suit in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleging copyright infringement. Abend will dismiss his complaint in return for $25,000.
1983/10/06 Universal studios, new license holder of the worldwide rights of five Hitchcock films, releases "Rear Window". After breaking on-day box office records for art houses around the country, "Rear Window" will pull in $6.8 million in five months.
1984/04/00 Sheldon Abend brings suit in the US District Court for the Central District of California against Hitchcock, Stewart, MCA and Universal Film Exchanges, alleging that the re-release of the motion picture infringes his copyright.
1990/01/09 Louis P Petrich argues the cause for Hitchcock, Stewart and MCA, with Gary L Swingle on the briefs. Peter J Anderson argues the cause for Sheldon Abend, with briefs by James P Tierney. United States Supreme Court Building, Washington, DC
1990/04/24 JUSTICE O'CONNOR delivers the opinion of the Court that a successor copyright owner has the exclusive right to permit the creation and exploitation of derivative works. United States Supreme Court Building, Washington, DC

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