Alfred Bell & Co. v. Catalda Fine Arts, Inc.
191 F.2d 99 (2d Cir. 1951) - full text opinion
Unable to access the public domain artwork, Catalda simply made copies of Alfred Bell's copies. In court, they argued that the mezzotints were not sufficiently original to constitute a new, copyrightable work. The court, however, disagreed, stating that "no large measure of novelty is necessary."
Move your mouse over the picture to the left to see how similar, but not identical, the mezzotint copies were to the original.