Fair Use

News & Analysis as of

Wanted: Brand Deputies at the MN State Fair

The Minnesota State Fair continues to provide endless blog fodder for those who care about intellectual property. Last week, we wrote about a State Fair vendor concerned about its claimed, but unarticulated “intellectual...more

Fox News Network, LLC v. TVEyes, Inc. - USDC, S.D. New York, August 25, 2015

Fox News Network brought a copyright infringement suit against TVEyes Inc., a company that records virtually all radio and television broadcasts and transforms their content into a searchable database for its subscribers...more

Copyright Fair Use: 1 Win, 1 Maybe and Two Losses for TVEyes

On August 25, 2015, the Southern District of New York held that the archiving function of a media monitoring service was protected by fair use and that the e-mailing feature could qualify for fair use if certain protective...more

No MN State Fair Photos, Pretty Please?

Well, it is opening day at the 2015 Minnesota State Fair, it was a great day, perfect weather, thank you very much! Happy to see that Lulu’s Public House is going strong, she appears to have some new food items this...more

Court Dismisses City’s Copyright Claim Against Critic for Using Council Meeting Clips in YouTube Videos

A California city cannot hold one of its citizens liable for copyright infringement for using clips of city council meetings in his critical YouTube videos, a federal judge has ruled. The August 20, 2015, Order in City of...more

Trademarks in the Crosshairs: Non-Trademark Use of a Descriptive Term - Sorensen v. WD-40 Co.

Addressing likelihood of confusion and the fair use defense in a trademark infringement suit pertaining to corrosion inhibitors, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed a lower court’s summary judgment...more

The Layered Look: Copyrights and Visual Arts

People are generally aware that a painting, photograph, sculpture or other works of art are subject to copyright protection but many are less aware that copyright has many layers of possible protection which can present legal...more

Harry Potter Lawsuits And Where To Find Them

On July 31, 2015, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling celebrates her 50th birthday, according to muggle sources. The enormous success of Rowling’s literary creation and its associated multimedia empire has spawned countless...more

Copyright Protection: Differences Between U.S. and Canadian Law

Copyright law protects creative works such as books, paintings, sculptures, songs, and movies. Businesses, nonprofit organizations, and individuals often own a wide variety of copyrights. Sometimes a copyright owner will not...more

That Google Image Search Could Result in Trouble

One aspect commonly associated with building and maintaining a business is the company website. Establishing an online presence can be an important tool for connecting with customers. While website creation can be a...more

Update on Battle Over the Navajo Mark

In a surprising move last week, Urban Outfitters and its subsidiaries (collectively “Urban Outfitters”) moved to withdraw their motion for partial summary judgment on the secondary liability claims being brought against them...more

Facial Recognition Technology: Social Media and Beyond, an Emerging Concern

This week, a major self-regulatory initiative intended to address privacy concerns associated with facial recognition technology hit a significant stumbling block. Nine consumer advocacy groups withdrew from the National...more

Richard Prince Once Again Pushes The Limits Of Fair Use

Richard Prince is either on the very edge of fair use or is engaging in blatant copyright infringement. Unlike most however, Prince has been down this road before; accused of infringement and a defense based entirely on fair...more

Who’s on First? Depends if Fair Use is on Second and Public Domain is on Third

Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on First?” brings back memories of my seventh-grade talent show where I performed the routine with Brandon Berry at Atascocita Middle School. I can’t remember if we won second or third place —...more

Richard Prince’s Instagram Art: Do You Know Where Your Face Is?

Social media, it seems, has turned us all into photographers. Anyone with a Facebook page, an Instagram account or any of the other methods for socializing on the web, can post original photos for all the world to see,...more

Instagram for Sale: Artist Richard Prince’s New Portraits Sparks Controversy

In the past week, several news outlets and social media channels have been buzzing about artist Richard Prince’s exhibit New Portraits, which first debuted at the Gagosian Gallery on September 19, 2014 and was reborn with...more

The Juice Runs Out for Yankee Parody Trademarks

A good general business practice is to apply to register trademarks early. You’ll find out if there is an issue. You’ll have time to change rather than having to take everything off the shelf under the threat of a lawsuit....more

The House That Juice Built: TTAB Denies Registration To Parodies

On May 8, 2015, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”) issued a resounding blow to trademark applicants who seek to register others’ trademarks as parodies. In New York Yankees Partnership v. IET Products and...more

Software Copyrights in an Evolving Digital World

In This Presentation: - Software Copyright & Interoperability - Program Language and Function Calls - An Example API in Java - Oracles’ Pattern of APIs - Google’s Copying - Questions? ..Copyright Issues -...more

The DMCA and fair use: Has anti-circumvention gone too far?

With the passage of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in 1999, Congress expanded copyright law and the rights afforded owners of copyrighted works. At the time, copyright holders — worried that the increased access...more

Imported from “Dertroit”

Readers of the blog know the dangers of selling unlicensed apparel and the oft-litigious stance of Major League Baseball when it comes to defending its marks.  But a recent viral t-shirt phenomenon may just be one time the...more

New Guidance Regarding Employee Handbooks Part Three: How Much Do Employers “Own” Their Logo, Copyright and Trademark?

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) restricts all employers from issuing policies or rules – even if well-intentioned – that inhibit employees from engaging in activities protected by the act, such as discussing wages,...more

Is Fox News Proposing a New Standard For Determining Fair Use?

North Jersey Media Group Inc. is the copyright owner of the iconic photograph of three firefighters raising an American flag at the ruins of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. ...more

The Basics of Copyright Law: Just Enough Copyright for People Who Are Not Attorneys or Intellectual Property Experts

You have been helping a client set up her consulting business for failing bookstores (Speak Volumes Recovery Group), and she mentions that she has developed a PowerPoint presentation and hand-outs for use in their seminars....more

Cariou v. Prince: A Controversial Redefining of the Distinction between Parody and Satire

The controversy that swirled around the 2013 Cariou v. Prince decision was once again ignited with the Seventh Circuit’s recent decision in Kienitz v. Sconnie Nation LLC – a decision that, fairly or unfairly, took direct...more

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