COPYRIGHTS: Your Rent's Due, Jimmy

Your Rent's Due, Jimmy

Every Hitchcock film has an unexpected twist. But last week the master of suspense's Rear Window was the subject of a legal surprise. In a 6-to-3 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the 1983 rerelease of the 1954 classic infringed the copyright of the Cornell Woolrich story, It Had to Be Murder, on which the movie was based. After Woolrich's death, his estate renewed the story's copyright. In the majority opinion, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor wrote that the film could not be shown without permission from the current holder of the copyright, even though Woolrich had promised to renew his agreement...

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