News & Analysis as of

Fair Use Photographs

He Who Lives by the Suit, Dies by the Suit

CBS Broadcasting Inc. has sued photographer Jon Tannen for posting still images from the Gunsmoke episode “Dooley Surrenders,” first aired on March 8, 1958. Online postings of images from classic television is fairly common,...more

Out-of-CTRL C

CTRL C and CTRL V (copy/paste) are widely used keyboard commands to add interesting content to emails, newsletters and slide decks. Everyone does it, so it must be okay, right? Not quite....more

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

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

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

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

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

Sultry Lady Liberty leads Postal Service astray

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

Beware sultry-looking ladies. That’s one of the lessons from the recent court decision sending a copyright case against the United States Postal Service to trial, but there are more. The decision can serve as a teaching...more

The Artist Formerly Known As…Warhol

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

Lynn Goldsmith is a professional photographer who rose to fame in the 1970’s for her portrait photography, especially for her work with musicians and other entertainers. Her work has appeared on over 100 album covers....more

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

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

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

Fair Use is Not Always Fair

Photographer TC Reiner sued Watkins Institute and its student Ryon Nishimori for copyright infringement when Nishimori incorporated one of Reiner’s copyrighted photographs into a mock advertisement for a classroom assignment...more

Transformative Use or Infringement

In Cariou v. Prince, 714 F3d 694 [106 USPQ2d 1497] (2d Cir. 2013), the Second Circuit said that a use of a copyrighted work need not comment on the original artist or work, or on popular culture, in order to constitute...more

Yes—Copying Photographs from the Internet Can Get You into Trouble

by Bennett Jones LLP on

Although it happens all the time, reproducing photographs found on the internet for use in business is fraught with risk. Businesses should only copy images where there is clear permission to use them—or face a substantial...more

You Just Used My Picture Without Permission?

by LeClairRyan on

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

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

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

Gossip Cop Gets Cuffed For Copyright Infringement

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York recently found that Gossip Cop, a website that rates celebrity gossip on a scale of “real” to “rumor,” infringed the copyrights in three photographs of famous...more

“Gossip Cop” Held To Willfully Infringe Copyrighted Photos

In BWP Media USA v. Gossip Cop Media, a case sure to bring cheer to paparazzi and tabloid publishers everywhere, a judge in the Southern District of New York has found after a bench trial that a gossip website willfully...more

Virginia GOP Settles Copyright Lawsuit Brought By On-Line Publisher

by Womble Bond Dickinson on

Valerie Garner, publisher of the Roanoke Free Press website, has settled her copyright lawsuit against the Virginia Republican Party related to the unauthorized use of a photograph she took of Delegate Sam Rasoul. This...more

9/11 Photo Fair Use Case, North Jersey Media Group v. Fox News, Settles on First Day of Trial

by BakerHostetler on

Fox News and North Jersey Media Group have announced they have settled their copyright dispute over the use of the iconic photo taken in the aftermath of 9/11, “Raising the Flag at Ground Zero,” that was posted on Facebook by...more

Carlos Santana is Everywhere

Seeing Carlos Santana this weekend while watching the Super Bowl with friends reminded me about the recently filed copyright infringement suit against BuzzFeed. You might be thinking, “that was Chris Martin of Coldplay, not...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

Unflattering Photo—A Blogger’s Paradise? - Raanan Katz v. Irina Chevaldina

by McDermott Will & Emery on

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of defendant based on an assertion of fair use of an unflattering, candid headshot photograph of plaintiff....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

The Layered Look: Copyrights and Visual Arts

by PretiFlaherty on

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

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

by Kelley Drye & Warren LLP on

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

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

by Weintraub Tobin on

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

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