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Property Keyed to Sprankling
Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc. v. Nation Enterprises
Citation:471 U.S. 539 (1985).
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*Case Brief Anatomy includes: Brief Prologue, Complete Case Brief, Brief Epilogue
- The Brief Prologue provides necessary case brief introductory information and includes:
- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
- Case Key Terms, Acts, Doctrines, etc.: A case specific Legal Term Dictionary.
- Case Doctrines, Acts, Statutes, Amendments and Treatises: Identifies and Defines Legal Authority used in this case.
- The Case Brief is the complete case summarized and authored in the traditional Law School I.R.A.C. format. The Pro case brief includes:
- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
- Rule of Law: Identifies the Legal Principle the Court used in deciding the case.
- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc. (the plaintiff) is the copyright holder of former President Ford’s unpublished memoir. Prior to its release of the work, the plaintiff had made a deal with Time Magazine where Time was exclusively permitted to publish certain excerpts of the memoir. Time paid $12,500 in advance and agreed to pay an additional $12,500 after it published the excerpts. The second payment was subject to renegotiation if the material appeared in print anywhere before Time printed it in its magazine. A couple weeks before Time was going to print the material, an unidentified person brought a copy of the plaintiff’s unpublished work to an editor at The Nation (the defendant). The defendant’s editor then quickly put together a news story containing direct quotes, paraphrases, and facts taken from the unpublished memoir. The defendant’s editor did not include any research, criticism, or commentary in his article because he wanted to release it before the memoir was published. After the defendant’s article was printed, Time canceled the publication of its own article and refused to pay the remaining $12,500.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
- Holding: Shares the Court's answer to the legal questions raised in the issue.
- Concurring / Dissenting Opinions: Includes valuable concurring or dissenting opinions and their key points.
- Reasoning and Analysis: Identifies the chain of argument(s) which led the judges to rule as they did.
- The Brief Prologue closes the case brief with important forward-looking discussion and includes:
- Policy: Identifies the Policy if any that has been established by the case.
- Court Direction: Shares where the Court went from here for this case.