Cason vs. Baskin
OUTLINE OF DEFENDANT'S BRIEF
for the Supreme Court
The plaintiff seeks to state her alleged rights
against the defendant in four counts. The first and second
counts are founded on the novel theory that the name and
personality of an individual are so sacred that an author
can not make mention of them in a literary production
without paying a substantial amount for the privilege.
While there are differences in form between the two counts,
there is no difference in substance and they should be
The third count sounds in libel and is founded
upon the theory that the attributing of the use of profanity
to any individual is libelous per se,- or, putting it another
way, so offensive that as a fact of common notoriety the
court presumes that damages result.
The fourth count is'founded upon the unique theory
that the use of a name and depiction of a personality in a
literary work entitles all the persons so mentioned to
share in the author's profits from the sale.
The argument will thus naturally be divided into
three phases, as follows:
1. There has been no legal invasion of the plain-
2. It is not to be presumed that attributing the
use of profanity to an individual will cause that individual
to suffer recoverable damages.
3. An author who does not offend the privilege of
free speech can not be required to share her profits with
those whose names or personalities have been useful in the
writing of a literary production.
INVASION OF PRIVACY
The recent origin of the doctrine.
The careful limitation of its application by statutes
and court decisions.
The unfailing accompaniment of the invasion of privacy
by some other wrong recognized by the law in those cases
which approve the doctrine.
The failure of any court to apply the doctrine against
the author of a literary work. Its application has been uni-
versally rejected by the courts because they considered any
incidental injury, less than libel, to an individual was more
than outweighed by the value of the literary work to the
The attribution of the use,of profanity to an indi-
vidual is not so offensive as to create a presumption of
The distinction between libel per se and libel per quod.
The use of profanity as described in the third count
does not constitute a criminal offense under the laws of Florida.
(It is well established that to state that a person has com-
mitted a crime punishable by imprisonment constitutes libel
The Florida Supreme Court is committed to the doctrine
that there is no proper legal distinction between a libel
against a man and a libel against a woman.
The decline and fall of the Puritanical prejudice
The increasing oral and written use of profanity and
the recognition of its therapeutic value.
Analysis of the characterization of the plaintiff
(in the third count only) to demonstrate that it is well
calculated to create an impression that in the aggregate
THE MENTION OF A PERSON IN A BOOK,
MAGAZINE OR NEWSPAPER DOES NOT ENTITLE
SUCH PERSON TO SHARE IN THE PROFITS OF
THE AUTHOR OR PUBLISHER.
The plaintiff did not in the lower court advance
any reason or authority to support the unique doctrine of
the fourth count that the mention of a person in a book
entitles such person to share in the author's earnings,-
nor have we been able to find any.