Tag Archives: fair use

Dear Doc: I know that you have written a boatload of articles about “appropriation art,” where someone just grabs the copyright-protected work of another person, changes it a bit, and then sells it for a boatload of money, never giving the first artist a penny, and how this was totally legal. So how come I […]

Dozens of times over the past 10 years, we have written about the “fair use” exception to copyright infringement.  You may recall that “fair use” under the U.S. Copyright Act permits limited use of copyrighted works for purposes of “criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research.” It’s a complex area and one that is continuously […]

Dear Doc (hope you’re well and alive): I heard of a case that’s just jive.You can go, but not boldlySaid the judge, rather coldlyFar too Seuss, your project, contrived.  Signed,ComicMix Dear CM: I suppose that you are asking about a recent court decision in a dispute about the book “Oh, the Places You’ll Boldly Go!”, a mashup […]

Dear Doc: I’ve heard that politicians who use music at their campaign appearances and in their Internet postings (Tweets, Memes, and other stuff) need to get permission from the music artists, and that sometimes, they don’t. What happens then? Signed,Dazed and Confused   Dear D&C:The basic rule of copyright is that unless use of a […]

In 2007, Stephanie Lenz posted a cute 29-second YouTube video of her 13-month-old son dancing and giggling to the music of Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy”. Four seconds into the video Lenz asks her baby “what do you think of the music?” And the baby bobbles up and down holding his push toy. You have to […]

Dear Doc: I know you’ve explained the legal concept of “fair use” before, but I have a question about that. Does it infringe an author’s copyright in a book to paraphrase one sentence from the book in a movie, if you give credit to the author, or is it fair use? Sincerely, Absolom Absolom,  Mississippi […]

In a recent embarrassing broadcast by KTVU television of San Francisco, the morning anchor, Tori Campbell, identified the pilots of the recent San Francisco Asiana airline crash as “Captain Sum Ting Wong,” “Wi Tu Lo,” “Ho Lee Fuk,” and “Bang Ding Ow.”   As she read the names, Campbell didn’t flinch and, even more perplexing, […]

We’ve written a lot about the “fair use” concept in the copyright context but did you know that there is also a fair use concept in trademark law? Here’s a case that illustrates the point. In 2012, the Naked Cowboy (yes, you read it correctly) of New York City fame, sued CBS for trademark infringement […]

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