No corrections yet
A PICTURE FILM CASE.
"THE CHURCH AND THE
PULL COURT JUDGMENT.
Reserved judgment was on Tuesday (reports the "Evening liewa"), deliver- ed by the Full Court (Sir William Cullen,. C.J., Mr. Justice Pring, and j Mr. Justice Gordon) in the Equity ap
Seal, Finn v. Pugliese. The suit was
rought by Edmund Finn, of Victoria, journalist, who claimed to be the author of a novel called "A Priest's Secret," to restrain Humbert Puligese from making copies of the films of a picture entitled "The Church and The Woman/' and selling the same, on the ground that it was an adaptation for cinematograph purposes, from the plaintiff's novel, "A Priest's Secret."
The Chief Judge in Equity (Mr. Jus- tice Street) found in favor of the plain- tiff, and granted the relief asked for, holding that the film, "The Church and the Woman" reproduced the substan- tial parts of the plaintiff's novel, and was an infringement of plaintiff's copy- right. Against this decree the defend- ant appealed on various grounds.
Mr. Justice Gordon delivered the judgment of the court. He said their honors were of opinion that the film, "The Church and the Woman," was taken from, and was a piracy of plain- tiff's novel, "A Priest's Secret," and was an infringement of the copyright of the novel. They found that Mr. Justice Street was right in granting the injunction asked for by the plain- tiff. ,
Upon a comparison of the scenario and the novel. "A Priest's Secret," continued his Honor,' it was beyond question clear that the scenario was taken directly from, and was a repro- duction of the novel. Not only were the main incidente of the plot identical with those in the novel, but long pass- ages occurred in the scenario taken verbatim from the novel, and it would be noted that in one passage, occurring on page 7 of the scenario, Longford, who produced the picture, by error used the name "Martin" when speak- ing of the character in his scenario, "Mike Feeny," who was obviously taken and reproduced from the char- acter, "Martin Sullivan," in the
On the question as to whether Mr. Justice Street was right in ordering the defendant to deliver up to the plaintiff the whole of the films pro- duced under the agreement with Long- ford, or whether ought to have limited that delivery up to certain portions of the films, the court was of opinion that the law on the matter was correctly stated in Copinger on the "Law of Copyright" (5th edition) in the following words: "When onlv a portion of a work is piratical, the plain- tiff is nevertheless, entitled to the de- livery of the whole, unless the piratical portion can be conveniently separated
from the original parts, or unless the j
pirated portion is unsubstantial."
In the opinion of the court, although ! some portions of thc films were not pirated from tho novel* the non-pirated portions could not be conveniently separated from the pirated portions of
the films. The court was, therefore, \ of opür'on that his Honor was right in directing the wholp of the films to be handed over to the plaintiff. By section 7 of the Act referred to. the films became th» property of the plain- tiff, and his Honor was right in so holding.
The appeal was dismissed, with costs.