Fair use

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Aereo: The Cable Killer…Contorted By Law

May 28th 2013

Aereo is a start-up with may have engineered a slick and legal way to get all kinds of television streamed to your devices for a small fraction of what you’d pay for cable. Yes, its cool, but is it too good to be true? And either way, would you like to try it for free?

Logorama, Short Film Made of Trademarks, Wins Oscar (Watch it Online, Free!)

March 8th 2010

Last night, a 16-minute animated film, entirely populated by trademarks as both characters and props, won an upset Academy Award. Its producer, Nicolas Schmerkin, explains: It’s about the way we live and the way we react to these logos. The brain can register 14 logos in less than one second. Making the logos characters with [...]

Boston’s WHDH and ADM Make Bogus Copyright Claims to Silence Critics and Clowns

February 24th 2010

Do you remember conservative radio talk-show host Michael Savage? He sued a Muslim advocacy group for copyright infringement because it dared to quote what he said on the radio as part of an advertiser boycott. A U.S. District judge tossed the suit, and supported the doctrine of Fair Use, saying that anyone who listens to [...]

Hitler Schools Constantin Films on Copyright and Viral Marketing

November 2nd 2009

Brad Templeton, chairman of the board of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, has produced his own “Downfall” parody video, making fun of the fact that Constantin Films has issued DMCA notices to remove all of the “Downfall” parody videos from YouTube. This little-known film has become an Internet sensation and, as I note below, Constantin Film’s [...]

Satire, Parody, and Copyright: Republican Govs Ape NYT’s Format

June 25th 2009

The Republican Governors’ Association has launched an attack website against Democrat New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine. The site, called the Corzine Times, is formatted to resemble the New York Times. The grey lady has sent a cease and desist letter to the Republican governors. The demand letter claims trademark infringement, claiming that similar logos and formats [...]

Fifth Circuit Faults Court for Not Considering Fair Use in Domain Squatting

May 1st 2009

In a win for both fair use advocates and brand holders, the Fifth Circuit has interpreted the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d), and the duty of trial courts to carefully consider fair use and irreparable harm issues when ruling on a request for injunctive relief.  See Southern Co. v. Dauben Inc. The [...]

AP & Newspapers See Internet as a Threat

April 10th 2009

The Associated Press plans to go after news aggregators legally and through legislation (whatever that means) who ‘take’ AP headlines and related content. Despite the obvious arguments of Fair Use and the fact that aggregators drive traffic to AP affiliated newspapers or even to the AP itself, AP Board Chairmen Dean Singleton sees it very [...]

Street Artist vs AP: Fair Use or Violation?

February 12th 2009

Street artist Shepard Fairey used an Associated Press (AP) photograph as the basis of his famous artistic treatment of then-Presidential candidate Barack Obama. That fact is not in dispute. The AP contacted Mr. Fairey in an attempt to secure credit and compensation. Although the AP has not started formal legal proceedings against Fairey, Fairey decided [...]

Online Brand Protection Gone Wrong: ILoveJackDaniels.com

November 5th 2008

Dave Child is a web developer from Brighton, UK. He ran sites for Juno Records in London, and does online marketing. Along the way, he picked up the nickname Jack Daniels for the bottle he kept on his desk. So when he wanted to start a site to provide tech resources to other programmers, he registered [...]

Fair Use Under Attack Worldwide by Big Content

April 11th 2008

Fair Use is a legally protected right of access to copyrighted materials, and deals with the limitations of copyright holders in the public interest. Reporting, education, criticism and parody are all protected under the Fair Use section in U.S. copyright law. “Big Content” (aka content providers who are part of Big Business) wants to change [...]