Copyright Fair Use

A Copyright is an exclusive legal right granted to the creator of an original work to license, copy, sell, distribute, or otherwise exploit the work for his or her own benefit.
News & Analysis as of

Does the Fair Use Exception Shield Ivanka Trump from Artists Who Want Nothing to Do with Her?

Much has been written about how the Trump family uses their name to market their own businesses, but the Trumps are equally gifted at trading on others’ notoriety to promote themselves and their businesses. Consider the...more

Louis Vuitton Left Holding the Bag

In Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A. v. My Other Bag, Inc., [16-241-cv] (December 22, 2016), the Second Circuit affirmed summary judgment for My Other Bag that its parody bag did not infringe or dilute Louis Vuitton’s trademark...more

“Who’s on First?” Routine in Broadway Play Strikes Out as Transformative Fair Use

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit determined that a Broadway play’s verbatim use of William “Bud” Abbott and Lou Costello’s “Who’s on First?” comedy routine was not a transformative fair use, but nonetheless...more

You Just Used My Picture Without Permission?

Artist Richard Prince’s exhibit entitled “New Portraits’’ was displayed at New York City’s Gagosian Gallery and Frieze New York during the summer of 2015. This exhibit featured screenshots of other people’s Instagram photos....more

Second Circuit Finds Use of "Who's on First" Routine Not Transformative and Not Fair Use

Earlier this month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a consequential opinion on the meaning and scope of what has become the "transformative use" factor of the fair use defense to copyright...more

Losing Control of V

A common client question is: “Can I ‘get in trouble’ for copying a picture, drawing, or cartoon and pasting it into my report, PowerPoint, etc.?” Before you can answer, they try to answer their own question, adding “Everyone...more

10 Copyright Cases Every Fan Fiction Writer Should Know About

If you are a Star Trek fan, the name Axanar has almost certainly crossed your lips or your computer screen recently. Axanar is a film (well, at least a very good trailer aspiring to be a film) set in the Star Trek universe,...more

Advanced Copyright Issues on the Internet

During recent years, the Internet has become the basic foundational infrastructure for the global movement of data of all kinds. With continued growth at a phenomenal rate, the Internet has moved from a quiet means of...more

Copyright At The Museum: Musings In Anticipation Of The IPO Dinner At The MOMA

As a fan of modern art, I am looking forward to the dinner reception at next week’s Annual Meeting of the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO), which will be held at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. As a member of...more

Legal Concerns for Social Media Influencers: Intellectual Property

Social media “influencers” – individuals who are powerful, popular and relevant enough to influence others within their online social sphere – generate ad dollars, product endorsement opportunities and other revenue streams...more

Dancing Baby May Be Headed To Supreme Court

On August 12, 2016, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (“EFF”) petitioned the Supreme Court on behalf of its client, Stephanie Lenz, to reverse the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Lenz v. Universal Music Corp., 801 F.3d 1126...more

Ninth Circuit Retcons Its “Dancing Baby” Fair-Use Decision and Creates More Confusion

Apparently, George Lucas is not the only party in California who can edit his own work after release in order to change aspects he does not like. While perhaps not as culturally significant as changing “Star Wars: A New Hope”...more

Google’s Fair Use Defense Thwarts Oracle’s Attempt to Recover $9 Billion in Copyright Case

In a high-profile case, a jury recently found that Google’s use of portions of Oracle’s Java software code was allowable under the fair use doctrine and thus did not constitute copyright infringement. Oracle sought as much...more

Jury Determines Google protected by “Fair Use” against liability for its unauthorized use of Java APIs

In a stunning decision on May 26, 2016, a jury found that although Google was found guilty of copyright infringement, it would not be subject to billions of dollars in damages because the “Fair Use” Doctrine, as codified at...more

Comic-Con, Costumes, and Copyright Concerns

Get ready, nerds! This summer’s Comic-Con season is almost upon us and your costume is not going to make itself. But before you squeeze into your tights and cape, do you need to worry about copyright infringement? This blog...more

Intellectual Property Bulletin - Spring 2016

Supreme Court to Weigh In on Damages for Design Patent Infringement - Recent decisions from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit regarding damages available in design patent cases highlight the court’s...more

Fair Use Copyright Ruling Stands For Google Books

Last month, the Supreme Court denied certiorari in Authors Guild v. Google, Inc., the long-running copyright case involving Google’s Google Books project. The high court’s refusal to hear the case leaves in place the Second...more

The Dancing Baby Returns: Computer Algorithms, Good Faith and Fair Use

In “The Case of Prince, a Dancing Baby and the DMCA Takedown Notice,” we discussed the potential impact of the Ninth Circuit decision in Lenz v. Universal Music Corp., 801 F.3d 1126 (2015), a.k.a. the “dancing baby case,” in...more

6 Unique Challenges for Protecting and Exploiting Intellectual Property in the United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is an attractive global business centre and gateway to the wider Middle East region for international companies seeking to commercialise and exploit their brands, products and...more

Google is Reimagining Writing and Publishing (if the Supreme Court Will Let It)

Google, or its parent company Alphabet, is the most valuable company in the world. It doesn't want for much and, least of all, for ambition and imagination. So its revolutionary Google Library project, to catalog and...more

Fox News & Fair Use: How Transformed Does Reposted Content Need to Be?

At its heart, social media’s purpose is sharing content; however, fair use can only take one so far. A recent case serves as yet another reminder to exercise caution when reposting content, and that, in a litigious society,...more

Nominative Fair Use, as Illustrated by Colorful Balls

If you watch any amount of T.V. or happened to catch either of the AFC or NFC Championship games last weekend, you’ve probably seen one of the recent cell phone carrier ball commercials....more

The “Poo” People Use: Who Owns Emojis

Emojis – those cute images you may find in a keyboard on your Android or iPhone device – have changed the way many people communicate thoughts, ideas, feelings and concepts. They can add a certain level of pizzazz to an...more

Using “Borrowed” Images in Your Blog

An engaging image, be it a photograph, line art or other graphic, can capture the reader’s attention and drive interest in an online post. Bloggers, especially, are well aware of the attention grabbing benefits of a great...more

Judge Leval Illuminates Google Books Fair Use Issues Second Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment for Defendant in Massive Copying Case

Based on the defense of fair use, the Second Circuit affirmed summary judgment for Google in the decade-long copyright battle between an authors group and the Internet search giant. The lawsuit concerned Google’s right to...more

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