FOX FILM CORP. V. DOYAL, 286 U. S. 123 (1932)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Fox Film Corp. v. Doyal, 286 U.S. 123 (1932)

Fox Film Corp. v. Doyal

No. 118

Argued January 12, 1932

Reargued March 15, 16, 1932

Decided May 16, 1932

286 U.S. 123


1. A privilege tax on a business of licensing copyrighted motion pictures, measured by the gross receipts of royalties, is in effect a direct charge upon the royalties. Educational Films Corp. v. Ward, 282 U. S. 379, distinguished. P. 286 U. S. 126.

Page 286 U. S. 124

2. Copyrights, as granted under the Copyright Act, are the property of the author, in which the United States has no interest aside from the general benefits derived by the public from the labors of authors. P. 286 U. S. 127.

3. Copyrights are not federal instrumentalities, and income derived from them is not immune from state taxation. Long v. Rockwood, 277 U. S. 142 (holding otherwise as to patents) is overruled. Pp. 286 U. S. 128, 286 U. S. 131.

4. The principle of immunity of federal instrumentalities from state taxation and of state instrumentalities from federal taxation is confined to the protection of operation of government. P. 286 U. S. 128.

5. The mere fact that a copyright is property derived from a grant by the United states is insufficient to support the claim of exemption. Nor does the fact that the grant is made in furtherance of a governmental policy of the United states, and because of the benefits which are deemed to accrue to the public in the execution of that policy, furnish ground for immunity. P. 286 U. S. 128.

6. A nondiscriminatory tax on the royalties from copyrights does not hamper the execution of the policy of the copyright statute. P. 286 U. S. 131.

173 Ga. 403 affirmed.

Appeal from a judgment, by a divided court, sustaining the dismissal of a suit to enjoin collection of state taxes.

Page 286 U. S. 126

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