In the 1940s, film giant 20th Century Fox lent several hand-bound books to the University of Southern California library. These books contained examples of various documents and forms used during filmmaking and studio operations (probably lent to the library for educational reasons).
Fast forward to 2005: Somehow the book made its way to an antique store, where it was bought by Derek D. and his wife. The couple then listed it on their online store. Here's where it got interesting: a lawyer from the 20th Century Fox Film Studio found it, told them that it was stolen property and asked for it back.
Here's the story of the journey of one (presumed stolen) book, which brings an interesting question of what happen when a collector unknowingly obtained a stolen object:
This point here is the tipping point whenever it is found that a collector has illegal property in their possession. Even if a court motion is the first knowledge of the disputed ownership, working out a deal with the rightful owner is the first step. Unless a collector knows indisputably that the other party has no rightful claim, a reasonable agreement should be met in the middle. In nearly every case listed in my previous article, the current owner attempted, or was in the process of, working with either law enforcement or the party claiming ownership. Stephen Spielberg has discovered a stolen painting in his collection, and he went to the FBI for help in working out ownership; I highly doubt legal action will be taken against Spielberg, but he is definitely at risk of losing the painting…but not all stolen items end up returned to the original owner. Acting in good faith is likely to encourage a amicable resolution, and if the problem has no other recourse but to go to court, the judge may view the attempts to resolve the situation in a positive light.
http://www.collectorsquest.com/blog/2008/03/17/collecting-what-you-aren%e2%80%99t-supposed-to-have-redux/ - Thanks Derek D.!
By the way, Infomercantile has a detailed chart outlining the organizational structure of the film studio in the 1940s, listing everyone from the chairman to studio security: Link