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1903: A mere circus ad can be copyrighted. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.: "A very modest grade of art has in it something irreducible, which is one man's alone. That something he may copyright."

1908: The Supreme Court rules that a piano roll does not violate the copyright of the song it renders.

By Roger Parloff, senior editor @FortuneMagazine - Last updated July 11 2012: 5:18 AM ET
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The death of cash

Tech giants - and startups like Square - want you to use your phone to pay for everything from gum to train rides. Here's how they plan to achieve cash-free nirvana.