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Drury v. Ewing.
in use throughout, but only that there should be an important and valuable portion, which operates injuriously to the copyright of the plaintiff.” In the same case the learned judge, in defining a piracy of a copyright, after a reference to the English authorities, says: “I think it may be laid down as the clear result of the authorities in cases of this nature, that the true test of piracy or not, is to ascertain whether the defendant has in fact used the plan, arrangements, and illustrations of the plaintiff as the model of his own book, with colorable alterations and variations only, to disguise the use thereof."
Judge Woodbury, on this point says, the true inquiry in these cases is, “Whether the book of the defendant, taken as a whole, is substantially a copy of the plaintiff's; whether it has virtually the same plan and character throughout, and is intended to supersede the other in the market with the same class of readers and purchasers by introducing no considerable new matter, or little or nothing new except colorable deviations." Webb v. Powers, 2 Wood. & Minot, 514. To the same effect are the numerous English decisions on this point. 2 Mylne & C. 740; 30 Eng. L. & E. 461; 36 Ibid. 321.
These authorities seem to be decisive of the point under consideration. And the single inquiry in this case therefore is, whether there is a substantial identity as between the chart copyrighted to Mrs. Drury and the guide used and sold by Mrs. Ewing. On this issue, I shall not attempt a critical notice of the mass of testimony introduced on the hearing of the present motion. It is to be regretted that under the impulse of their heated passions and intemperate zeal, these excited females have put themselves to unnecessary trouble and expense in taking depositions on the question of identity. It lies within narrow limits and presents no great difficulty in its solution. It is to be borne in mind that Mrs. Ewing does not allege, and has not proved, that she is the inventress or authoress of the system copyrighted to her; nor does she deny in her original answer,
Drury v. Ewing.
nor does she now deny, that Mrs. Drury's chart is the basis of her guide. Her claim is simply that she has so far varied from and improved the chart as to constitute her guide an original work, and that, therefore, it is no infringement. But it is obvious from inspection that the two embody substantially, if not literally, the same principle. The diagrams in each are essentially the same in form, dimensions, etc., and have the same arrangement of numerals. It is true, the different scales or rules for taking measurements are designated by names differing in the guide from those used in the chart, but this does not destroy the identity of the two. In practice they produce the same curves or forms for the same identical purpose. The device of Mrs. Ewing in placing on what she calls the back scale one number higher than on the front scale, thus making a seeming difference between her plan and that of Mrs. Drury's, can not affect the question of legal identity. This clearly involves no change of principle. And the same remark applies to the claim of a want of identity, on the ground that Mrs. Ewing's plan as alleged, requires five measurements, whereas Mrs. Drury provides for three only. The mere increase of the number of measurements does not constitute an essential difference in the two plans. But it is by no means clear, that Mrs. Ewing, in her system as copyrighted, requires more than the three measurements. The weight of evidence well justifies the conclusion that until this controversy arose, in practice three only were used, and that the subsequent addition of the two measurements, was an afterthought resorted to for an obvious purpose.
But there is one fact that seems wholly conclusive on this question of identity, and dispenses with the necessity of a minute inquiry into the alleged discrepancies between the two plans. Some nine or ten witnesses, practical and intelligent dressmakers, well acquainted with the theory and practice of taking measurements, and cutting dresses upon the plan of these parties, testify that the two are substantially the same, and in practice produce the same result.
Drury v. Ewing.
Some of these witnesses swear they have cut dresses by both plans, and that when the directions of each are strictly pursued, the results are substantially the same. One witness with great apparent candor and intelligence states, that by an actual experiment with the two plans, when he dropped the surplus number on the back scale of Mrs. Ewing, the measurements were precisely identical, and that when that number was used there was but a trifling difference. Such an experiment affords an unerring test of truth, and if the witness is credible, the force of the fact stated by him can not be overcome by the speculative opinions of any number of witnesses testifying adversely to him.
Without noticing other material discrepancies between the chart of Mrs. Drury and Mrs. Ewing's guide, I am led to the conclusion that they are essentially the same, within the scope of the authorities to which I have referred. Mrs. Ewing has, with some adroitness, so arranged and transposed some parts of Mrs. Drury's diagrams as to present to the unexperienced eye the impression that they are dissimilar, but in doing this she has utterly failed to prove that there is any difference in the principle of the two. There is, also, a substantial identity between the printed directions and instructions accompanying the chart and the guide. True, the words and sentences used by Mr. Ewing are not the same as those used by Mr. Drury, but they are of the same import, and intended for the same purpose. In this remark, I do not forget that it is strenuously urged by the counsel for the complainants that what is designated by Mrs. Ewing as her third pupil's instruction is more full and minute than those connected with the chart, and so far unlike them. It is enough to say, in reference to this, that the evidence fully warrants the conclusion that these constituted no part of the rules or instructionis as claimed by Mrs. Ewing, and copyrighted to her in Missouri. They have been appended recently with the obvious purpose of negativing the identity of the two plans. It is another evidence of the consciousness of Mrs. Ewing, that some
Drury v. Ewing.
thing was needed to avoid the otherwise inevitable conclu. sion, that in getting up her guide she was interfering with and pirating on the prior exclusive right of Mrs. Drury. It can not be doubted that she has adopted all the essential parts of Mrs. Drury's system, and that so far as there are any apparent alterations they are colorable and evasive. It must be conceded that Mrs. Ewing's course does not commend her to the favorable consideration of a court of equity. She seems to have taken a dishonorable advantage of her position as the agent of Mrs. Drury, with the expectation of pecuniary benefits, to which she was neither morally nor legally entitled. Her intelligence and adroitness, as developed throughout this controversy, repel the inference that she acted in ignorance of the fact that she was invading the just rights of the complainants. And when by the decree of this court an injunction was granted to restrain her from the further sale and use of her guide, it was a duty of which she could not have been ignorant, to respect and obey it. She has willfully violated the injunction, and the complainants, as they had a right to do, have asked for and obtained a rule to show cause why she should not be dealt with as for a contempt of court. No sufficient showing against such a judgment has been made, and I can not do otherwise than find her guilty of the alleged contempt.
The only embarrassment on the part of the court arises from the difficulty of determining what order shall now be made in the case. It is necessary that the supremacy of the law should be vindicated, and the rights of the complainants protected as far as practicable. To this end, it is unquestionably competent for the court to order the imprisonment of Mrs. Ewing, as a punishment for the contempt. But in the case of a female, I am exceedingly reluctant to make such an order. And if any assurance can be given that there will be no repetition of the offense, and that the rights of the complainants will hereafter be respected, I will not now adopt that stringent course. For
Crabtree v. Ex'rs of Wm. Neff.
the present, with the intimation that such future action, as circumstances may require, will be taken by the court, it is now ordered that the defendants, Ewing and his wife, surrender to the clerk of this court, within twenty days, all the published copies of the guide in their possession, or within their control, together with the plate or plates on which they are printed ; and also that within that time they pay the costs of this proceeding.
Where a judgment was entered for a plaintiff, with costs, the court will not,
at a subsequent term, revise or correct it as to the costs; though being
for less than $500, the plaintiff was not entitled to such judgment. A retaxation will not be ordered, on the ground that the clerk has not dis
criminated between the costs of the plaintiff and those of the defend
ant. The practice of taxing the entire cost to the losing party, without discrim
ination, has always prevailed in this court; and, until otherwise provided by law or obligatory rule of court, will not be changed. It is, prescriptively, at least, the law of this court. R. M. Corwine, for plaintiff. M. H. Tilden, for defendants.
OPINION OF THE COURT:
This is a motion by the defendants to retax the costs, or in effect to vacate a judgment as to costs, rendered by this court several terms since. The jury, on the trial of the case, returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff for less than five hundred dollars, -and a judgment, including costs, was entered against the defendants.
There is no doubt that the judgment against the defendants for costs was erroneous. It was entered inadvertently, and without being noticed by the counsel. The statute is explicit in providing that a judgment for less than five