The Fair Use Defense to Nowhere


Last Wednesday I wrote about the parody fair use defense to trademark infringement in connection with the Facebook v. Lamebook lawsuits. Since then another party has asserted the fair use defense, this time in regards to copyright infringement.

Last week the on-line news source, Gawker, published images of more than 20 pages of Sarah Palin’s not yet available book entitled “America by Heart.”

After Palin tweeted about the illegality of the leak Gawker responded that Palin should familiarize herself with the copyright fair use defense. Apparently Gawker should have taken its own advice, because the Supreme Court ruling in a similar leak (of Gerald Ford’s then-unpublished autobiography) held that the fair use defense did not apply. In that 1985 Harper & Row decision the Supreme Court held that the fair use defense was considerably weaker in the case of unpublished works.

Please see full article below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.