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Fair use is never simple

To secure evidence for an anticipated lawsuit against TV host Dr. Phil McGraw, a producer for the show, Leah Rothman, recorded nine seconds of the show’s unaired archive footage onto her cellphone....more

Is 2 seconds of television time too much to be a fair use?

In a recent episode of "48 Hours," CBS displayed – for two seconds – a copyrighted photograph taken by Steven Hirsch. He sued for copyright infringement. A federal court in Manhattan denied CBS’s motion to dismiss, finding...more

Update: Court finds transformative nature of alleged infringing work can’t be decided by side-by-side comparison

Adding an Instagram border and a few “gobbledygook” notations to an original photograph is not transformative as a matter of law. In an update to our post on a case filed last year, a federal court in New York recently denied...more

Court holds that displaying photos requires more than making them available

While a donut with no hole may be a Danish, a photograph is not publicly displayed if the public never sees it. And in photography copyright cases, these near metaphysical questions matter....more

Fair use blocks out copyright claim over LeBron’s tattoo

Courtside questions: Is it fair or foul to show a player’s tattoo in a video game? LeBron James is a talented individual: three-time NBA Champion; 13-time NBA All-Star. And he gave a more than respectable performance playing...more

Third verse same as the first - Will Richard Prince’s transformation defense work yet again?

Take a copyrighted photograph of Sonic Youth bass player Kim Gordon, crop it, and add an Instagram border and a few words of text and emojis. Have you “transformed” it sufficiently to avoid copyright infringement? And is it...more

Will a court recognize ‘aerosol artists’?

You may think of it as “graffiti,” but a court in New York must determine if “aerosol art” is “meritorious” and of “recognized stature” such that it gets special copyright protection....more

Photographer hits retailer over photo of player hitting Joey Bats

One of the best sports photographs in recent history captured a 2016 incident where Texas Rangers’ second baseman Rougned Odor hit Toronto Blue Jay José Bautista in the face. That memorable image is at the center of a new...more

Trump Skittles tweet illustrates photo copyright hazards

Even Halloween candy and political messages can implicate copyright law, as Donald Trump Jr.’s Skittles tweet illustrates. Back in September, Trump sent a tweet incorporating a photograph of a bowl of Skittles entitled,...more

TC's inside IP - Winter 2013: Final Really Does Mean Final in the Federal Circuit

Defendants in patent infringement lawsuits often request that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) reexamine the patent-in-suit. Patent reexamination is a process where the validity of an issued patent is...more

Advertising Law: It's not your father's first amendment

Advertising seems like an unlikely candidate for constitutional protection. Think of the snake oil and patent remedy advertisements in newspapers a century ago. Even today, political candidate ads seem to take an "anything...more

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