Copyrights-Limitations on Proprietor’s Exclusive Right to Vend

Plaintiff was the sole proprietor of copyrights on several educational toys. It had ordered a large number of these toys to be made by defendant manufacturer, but refused to accept them when tendered, claiming they were so defective in quality that their sale would impair plaintiff’s reputation. When defendant manufacturer began selling the rejected toys to the co-defendants in order to recover its own investment in them, the plaintiff obtained a temporary restraining order against all defendants prohibiting further sales of the toys pending a determination of a motion for permanent injunction. The district court granted a preliminary injunction of indefinite duration on the ground that the threatened sales might violate plaintiff proprietor’s exclusive right to vend its copyrighted works. The defendants appealed, contending that section 27 of the Copyright Code permitted them to sell the goods pursuant to New York state law. On appeal, held, order affirmed with modification to the extent that no injunction issue covering goods which the district court, in a further proceeding, should find the plaintiff was unjustified in rejecting. A proprietor retains an exclusive right to vend goods embodying his copyrighted conception until he has received a “fair reward.” Platt & Munk Co. v. Republic Graphics, Inc., 315 F.2d 847 (2d Cir. 1963).