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Episode 2438             Episode 2440
Episode 2439

Shostakovich v. Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Mon, 2024-Jan-08 01:26 UTC
Length - 3:01

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Welcome to featured Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of the featured Wikipedia article every day.

The featured article for Monday, 8 January 2024 is Shostakovich v. Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp..

Shostakovich v. Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. is a landmark 1948 New York Supreme Court decision that was the first case in United States copyright law to recognize moral rights in authorship. The Shostakovich case was brought following the United States premiere of The Iron Curtain, a 1948 spy film and the first anti-Soviet Hollywood film of the Cold War era. The film featured the music of several Soviet composers: Dmitri Shostakovich, Aram Khachaturian, Sergei Prokofiev, and Nikolai Myaskovsky.

The composers—as nominal plaintiffs standing in for the Soviet government, according to some scholars—sued the film's distributor, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation, in the New York Supreme Court, the state's trial court. Conceding that their compositions were in the public domain under United States law, the composers sought an injunction prohibiting further distribution of the film. The composers relied on several legal theories, most notably that they had moral rights in authorship preventing the misuse of their works in a manner that contradicted their beliefs. The court rejected the composers' arguments, holding that the standard for adjudicating moral rights was not settled law and that, in any event, moral rights conflict with the right of the public to use public domain works. The Soviet government continued to press the composers' moral rights case before the French courts, which ruled in their favor in Société Le Chant du Monde v. Société Fox Europe and Société Fox Americaine Twentieth Century.

Legal commenters have described the case as a landmark decision and noted that it is representative of United States' courts reactions to moral rights. The decision has been criticized as a misunderstanding of moral rights and praised for upholding the right of the public to use public domain works over the rights of authors to censor uses that they disagree with.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 01:26 UTC on Monday, 8 January 2024.

For the full current version of the article, see Shostakovich v. Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. on Wikipedia.

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