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U.S. Supreme Court

American Lithographic Co. v. Werckmeister, 221 U.S. 603 (1911)

American Lithographic Company v. Werckmeister

No. 115

Argued April 10, 1911

Decided May 29, 1911

221 U.S. 603


The forfeiture for infringement of copyright prescribed by § 4965, Rev.Stat., is not only for every copy found in possession of the infringer, but in the alternative for every copy by him sold.

Where a distinction is plainly made in an act of Congress prescribing penalties as to different classes of the offense, the court need not search for the reason for making the distinction, but must give it effect.

Under § 4965, Rev.Stat., no penalty for infringement can be recovered with respect to prints, photographs, etc., except for sheets found in defendant's possession, and there cannot be two actions as to the same copies, one for replevin and the other for penalty; but with respect to paintings, statues and statuary, an action can be brought for penalties on copies sold by the infringer and not included in those replevied in another action. Werckmeister v. American Tobacco Co., 207 U. S. 375; Hills v. Hoover, 220 U. S. 334, distinguished.

The authority to issue writs conferred on courts of the United States by § 14 of the Judiciary Act of 1789, and § 716, Rev.Stat., includes the authority to issue subpoenas duces tecum, and it was not the purpose of § 724, Rev.Stat., to interpose an obstacle with respect to the issuance of such subpoenas.

The Act of July 2, 1864, c. 210, § 3, 13 Stat. 351, now Rev.Stat., § 858, removing disabilities of witnesses on account of being parties to the action removed whatever obstacle existed as to issuing subpoenas duces tecum to parties.

Section 860, Rev.Stat., providing that no pleading or discovery obtained from a party or witness by means of judicial proceeding shall be used against him in any criminal proceeding, relates to using the evidence in a subsequent proceeding.

A corporation defendant in a suit to enforce penalties under § 4965, Rev.Stat., for infringement of copyright is not entitled under the Fourth or Fifth Amendment to object to the admission of evidence of entries in its books produced under a subpoena duces tecum. Wilson v. United States, ante, p. 221 U. S. 361.

Page 221 U. S. 604

The facts, which involve the construction of § 4965, Rev.Stat., are stated in the opinion.

Page 221 U. S. 606

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