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Roeslin v. District of Columbia

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Citation Edit

Roeslin v. District of Columbia, 921 F. Supp. 793, 38 U.S.P.Q.2d (BNA) 1906 (D.D.C. 1995) (full-text).

Factual Background Edit

The plaintiff was employed as a labor economist. There was no reference in his job description to computer programming, and indeed his supervisor testified that he did not know when plaintiff was hired that he had any programming skills. The plaintiff created a computer program outside of work time and on his personal computer. The plaintiff sued the District of Columbia for copyright infringement for its use and copying of the computer program.

Trial Court Proceedings Edit

The court held that the program was not a work made for hire, and therefore the plaintiff owned the program, not the District. The plaintiff was entitled to damages equal to the amount the District saved through its infringing use, but the plaintiff was not entitled to attorneys' fees.

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