I was looking for a citation to the legal rule that
To establish a successful copyright infringement claim, [a plaintiff] must show that he owns the copyright and that defendant copied protected elements of the work. Because, in most cases, direct evidence of copying is not available, a plaintiff may establish copying by showing that the infringer had access to the work and that the two works are substantially similar.
I had found the idea in the case of
- Metcalf v. Bochco, 294 F. 3d 1069 – Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit 2002, but since it cited another case in establishing those statements, I decided to look at the case that was cited. That was
- Shaw v. Lindheim, 919 F. 2d 1353 – Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit 1990. Shaw, however, cited yet another case. And that’s how I ended up browsing through
- Narell v. Freeman, 872 F. 2d 907 – Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit 1989. But ever modest Narrel did not want to take the credit for formulating the standard for establishing copyright infringement either. Instead, it punted me to
- Baxter v. MCA, Inc., 812 F. 2d 421 – Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit 1987. Ever generous Baxter, though, said that really the idea was from
- Sid & Marty Krofft Television v. McDonald’s Corp., 562 F. 2d 1157 – Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit 1977 who after our customary chit-chat, directed me to
- Reyher v. Children’s Television Workshop, 533 F. 2d 87 – Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit 1976. Now, Reyher, being rather effusive, did not mention a single authority and instead bifurcated my path to both
- Arnstein v. Porter, 154 F. 2d 464 – Circuit Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit 1946 and Bevan v. Columbia Broadcasting System, Inc., 329 F. Supp. 601 – Dist. Court, SD New York 1971. Feeling myself no closer to the Promised Land, I fell back and dropped dead from sheer exhaustion.
O god, did Nimmer really read all this and a thousand-fold more?