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Big Hairy Woman

With this song, 2 Live Crew basically took the distinctive bass riff from the original Orbison song and changed the lyrics in true Crew style. Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc. is probably the seminal case for the modern application of the fair use doctrine. The lightning rod was 2 Live Crew and their allegedly parodic use of the "Pretty Woman" song. Instead of dismissing the Crew's claim on the basis that they had used the appropriated material for commercial gain, the court looked at the other factors of permissible fair use and determined that parody was indeed protected fair use, even though the perpetrators gained financially. [more inside]
posted by three blind mice on Mar 7, 2014 - 22 comments

Gotta fight for your right...

Toy-startup GoldieBlox (previously) had already proven their marketing savvy - then their new commercial went viral, and might even earn them an on-air spot during the Superbowl. But now they've got a lawsuit on their hands - brought by the Beastie Boys. [more inside]
posted by progosk on Nov 23, 2013 - 204 comments

Richard Prince Wins on Appeal (mostly)

Today the Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the lower court decision (Cariou v Prince) determining that 25 of the 30 Richard Prince Canal Zone paintings using appropriated images from Patrick Cariou's Yes Rasta book fall under Fair Use. The remaining 5 paintings were remanded back to the District Court to determine if they also fall under the Fair Use Doctrine with the now clarified proper standard. previously.
posted by snaparapans on Apr 25, 2013 - 4 comments

Buffy vs Edward vs Lionsgate

Buffy vs Edward: Twilight Remixed (previously), a textbook example of fair use, has been removed from YouTube after Lionsgate's attempts to monetize with ads it were met with resistance by the video's creator. "This is what a broken copyright enforcement system looks like." [more inside]
posted by ODiV on Jan 9, 2013 - 37 comments

"What books would be entering the public domain if we [the US] had the pre-1978 copyright laws?"

What Could Have Entered the Public Domain on January 1, 2013?:'Under the law that existed until 1978 … Works from 1956.' Yesterday was Public Domain Day, with many works entering the public domain, depending on jurisdiction. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 2, 2013 - 54 comments

By securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries

Current copyright law does not merely distort some markets – rather it destroys entire markets. (PDF) [more inside]
posted by dsfan on Nov 17, 2012 - 97 comments

Libraries, Google, and the Transformation of Fair Use

The Hathi Trust, a partnership between 66 universities and 3 higher education consortia, is breathing a little easier now that Judge Harold Baer, Jr. of New York's Southern District has found that the Trust was within its fair use rights to allow Google to scan member library holdings, and then making the resulting files available for the reading impaired, and for use in search indexing and data mining. While this is excellent news for the educational institutions involved, it doesn't completely exonerate Google's role in the scanning project. It's notable that just last week Google abandoned it's own fair use claim in settling a different case involving the same book scanning project. Of the four factors used when considering fair use cases, Judge Baer ruled on the side of the Hathi Trust on all four.
posted by Toekneesan on Oct 11, 2012 - 6 comments

Canada Supremes rule on IP

Canada's Supreme Court has ruled on 5 copyright-related issues.
Internet providers do not have to pay copyright fees when their consumers download or preview music, and teachers don't have to pay fees when they photocopy copyrighted materials for their students. [more inside]
posted by Twang on Jul 12, 2012 - 25 comments

Did Richard Prince's Appropriation Harm Cariou Market?

Prince v. Cariou, Round 2: Money Talks Prince v. Cariou oral arguments were heard today by a three Judge panel of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. In many ways, the future of appropriation art (and Google’s image search, possibly) rests on the outcome of this case. And if today’s arguments are any indication, neither side is going to go down without a fight. [more inside]
posted by snaparapans on May 23, 2012 - 95 comments

Now you know me as Dirty Spaceman, yeah!

Bad Lip Reading's parody video Dirty Spaceman has been removed by YouTube following a DMCA takedown request by Universal Music Group. (previously) [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Oct 23, 2011 - 24 comments

The Stolen Scream

The Stolen Scream. In 2006, photographer Noam Galai posted a handful of dramatic self-portraits to Flickr. Unbeknownst to him, his screaming face slowly took on a life of its own (often as a symbol of unrest or protest), appearing in countless permutations the world over. In this mini-documentary, Noam is surprisingly pragmatic about his accidental fame, and the fact that he only got paid once for the legal use of the picture.
posted by O9scar on May 5, 2011 - 26 comments

THIS POST DESIGNED TO CREATE A MEFI CIVIL WAR

"Weird" Al Yankovic wanted to do a parody of Lady Gaga's "Born This Way," so he did what he usually does: he contacted the artist and asked permission. Lady Gaga said she'd have to hear the lyrics, so Weird Al wrote the lyrics and sent them to her. Gaga then said she's have to actually hear the song, so Weird Al went into the studio and recorded it - at which point Gaga refused to give her permission. Weird Al responded by doing something he's never done in his entire career: he's asserted his fair use rights and made an unapproved parody available to the public.
posted by mightygodking on Apr 20, 2011 - 538 comments

How to keep from being sued

How to avoid visiting any Stephens Group publications even by accident, if you use FireFox. The Stephens Group (AKA Righthaven) has been suing bloggers who link to and quote any of their publications' web sites. (Such as.) So now there's a FireFox plugin you can use to make sure you don't visit any of them. Use it in good health.
posted by Chocolate Pickle on Aug 18, 2010 - 32 comments

Warden threw a party in the county jail.

Has DRM just been dealt a crippling blow? "Today [the US Copyright Office has] designated six classes of works. Persons who circumvent access controls in order to engage in noninfringing uses of works in these six classes will not be subject to the statutory prohibition against circumvention."
posted by griphus on Jul 26, 2010 - 57 comments

Let's dance forró!

Forró is popular dance music from northeastern Brazil. Forró em Vinil is a blog with out of catalog forró gems for download. But wait, is this legal? [more inside]
posted by Tom-B on Jul 10, 2010 - 11 comments

OurTube Once Again

YouTube allows fair use defense. Under a new policy, users claiming fair use in videos previously taken down due to a copyright claim will be restored, and the claimant forced to file a formal complaint under DMCA. [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Apr 23, 2010 - 57 comments

Obey the Law

Anthony Falzone and the Fair Use Project have dropped Shepard Fairey's case after he admitted he lied and submitted false evidence in his suit against the Associated Press. (Previously).
posted by CheeseDigestsAll on Oct 17, 2009 - 50 comments

Playing Hide and Seek with the Body of Christ, and with YouTube videos

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has found himself in a bit of an imbroglio this week. Having attended the state funeral of former Governor General Romeo LeBlanc, the evangelical Harper has been accused of pocketing a communion wafer, an action considered "seriously offensive" by Catholics [scroll down for explanation]. But as professor of Internet and E-commerce law Michael Geist notes, the confusing thing about the controversy isn't whether the PM did or didn't eat the wafer (or even whether he should have been offered it in the first place), but rather why Societe Radio-Canada (the French name for the government-owned Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) has yanked a video of the incident from YouTube. [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Jul 9, 2009 - 63 comments

Confidential to NY Times: Free as in speech

Getting smart about personal technology. NYTimes publishes Sonia Zjawinski's assertion that other peoples' images on Flickr are probably OK to download, blow up and use to decorate her house: And if you’re wondering about copyright issues (after all, these aren’t my photos), the photos are being used by me for my own, private, noncommercial use. I’m not selling these things and not charging admission to my apartment, so I think I’m in the clear. [more inside]
posted by chesty_a_arthur on Jun 26, 2009 - 173 comments

"You're like my personal brand of herion." My god, are you -twelve-?"

In Buffy Vs. Edward (Twilight Remixed), Edward Cullen from the Twilight Series meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer at Sunnydale High. It's an example of transformative storytelling serving as a visual critique of Edward's character and generally creepy behavior. Seen through Buffy's eyes some of the more patriarchal gender roles and sexist Hollywood tropes embedded in the Twilight saga are exposed in hilarious ways. (Previous Twilight discussion on MeFi )
posted by ShawnStruck on Jun 21, 2009 - 92 comments

Polyvorous

Polyvore is a website that lets you mix and match online images to make fashion sets and collages. While it has received favour from Web 2.0 pundits, fashion bloggers, and major craft blogs, it has also drawn massive ire from artists that claim copyright infringement and use of personal photos. The anti-Polyvore pressure mainly comes from Etsy sellers, with some support from artists on DeviantArt, Red Buddle, and independent artists - all coming together on Flickr. We Heart It and Ffffound! are also seen as suspect. While Polyvore tries to assuage copyright fears, amidst growing pressure to shut down, many of Polyvore's current users are counter-petitioning for the site to stay.
posted by divabat on Jan 10, 2009 - 16 comments

"I don't value music made from sampling."

Mashup artist Gregg Gillis, aka Girl Talk, is another artist to try the 'pay whatever you want' Internet release model. However, his 55-minute album consists of over 300 samples from other artists, with many current and past hits. No stranger to current controversies in copyright, Gillis also appeared in the documentary Good Copy Bad Copy. Previously. [more inside]
posted by uaudio on Jun 20, 2008 - 44 comments

Associated Press? More like Litigious Press, amirte?

The Washington Post give the Associated Press the banhammer. It seems the A.P. doesn't like some blogs for using its headlines and excerpts. It's fair use, but A.P. disagrees. NYTimes take. [more inside]
posted by zardoz on Jun 16, 2008 - 50 comments

A video tour of the history of Found Footage Filmmaking

80 years of Found Footage Filmmaking...
1927-1967:
The Fall of the Romanov Dynasty, 1927.
Rose Hobart, 1936.
Night and Fog 2 3 4 5 6 7, 1956.
1968-2007 inside...
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur on Aug 28, 2007 - 12 comments

Stop lying to the public about their fair use rights

Tech industry to FTC: stop studios from giving consumers scary, inaccurate copyright warnings.
posted by grobstein on Aug 1, 2007 - 26 comments

Dünyayi kurtaran adam

Can't sleep, Turkish Star Wars will eat me [IMDb, previously]
posted by thirteenkiller on Mar 19, 2007 - 49 comments

Copyright Jungle

"We are losing much of the history of the twentieth century because the copyright industries are more litigious than ever." A cogent "primer for reporters [and others] who find themselves lost in the copyright jungle" in the age of Google and the DMCA.
posted by OmieWise on Sep 27, 2006 - 40 comments

minor threat, major rip-off

Minor Theft: Somebody at the ad agency for Nike Skateboarding must be a Minor Threat fan -- they recreated one of the band's album covers for the marketing of Nike's Major Threat Tour. Did they ask permission, though? No.
posted by me3dia on Jun 23, 2005 - 73 comments

Hate People Like Us

Vicki Bennett is better known as People Like Us, and just so happens to be the anointed queen of Plunderphonics. Her music is comprised almost entirely of uncleared samples and has avoided lawsuit only by virtue of their (and her own) obscurity. Similar in style and sense of humor to The Evolution Control Committee and the (amazing, really, really amazing) Avalanches, you'll find nearly her entire body of work here.
posted by StopMakingSense on Mar 6, 2005 - 11 comments

S&M Barbie

S&M Barbie... and S&M Barbie
posted by nathan_teske on Jul 13, 2004 - 9 comments

Copyright... copyleft...who's right? whomever's left!

"You can't copyright anything on the Internet" Retrocrush posted an article written by thier own, to point out the "Worst Sex Scenes Ever" in the movies. Less than 30days later, the british tabloid "The Daily Star" printed an article that seems to have come directly from the site, attributing the source to a (seemingly fictitous) american magazine called "Film". Not only did the Star's news editor make the above quote, but the story was picked up by a wire service, and has seen print in several other online and print publications... Obviously it's not Fair Use. What would happen if reporters came here looking for ideas?
posted by niteHawk on Jan 6, 2004 - 27 comments

Fair and Balanced is fair to use

Fox Loses Bid to Stop Sale of Franken Book "There are hard cases and there are easy cases. This is an easy case," said U.S. District Judge Denny Chin. "This case is wholly without merit both factually and legally." As so many of us understood without the need for big expensive lawyers.
posted by billsaysthis on Aug 22, 2003 - 29 comments

Zoe and the DMCA

Rep. Zoe Lofgren's BALANCE act attempts to protect "Fair Use" rights from harmful legislation like the DMCA. Some related links: [summary] [whats wrong with the DMCA?]
posted by skallas on Mar 7, 2003 - 4 comments

Shrinkwrap, Software, EULAs and Reverse Engineering

Another way around sneaky agreements: A Californian is suing (PDF) Microsoft and Symantec over shrink-wrapped agreements and EULAs that are only readable when you first install the software, making a return or refund absolutely impossible. Many courts have upheld shrinkwrap licenses. Conversely, reverse engineering has been determined to constitute fair use. If this case sets a precedent, could we see abridged legalese on the side of future boxes or a rethinking of software licensing trends? Or will the cluttered tower of consumer rights, protection for software companies and code evolution and innovation topple over?
posted by ed on Feb 10, 2003 - 21 comments

Digital rights

A call to rally to protect our digital rights Legislation introduced in Congress to allow continued fair use of digital media. Other links at story site.
posted by stevefromsparks on Jan 17, 2003 - 7 comments

Copy protection of music CDs is morally wrong, and as Americans we can and must assert our rights to Fair Use of the media we have purchased. But I give it to the Germans: they have figured out a way to defeat Cactus DATA Shield 100/200 and KeyAudio. [translated from German by Google]
posted by johnnydark on May 15, 2002 - 6 comments

U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher On Why The DMCA Sucks

U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher On Why The DMCA Sucks
News.com has a Great Editorial by Rick Boucher who says traditional "fair use" rights are at the foundation of the receipt and use of information by the American people, and those rights are now under attack.
He goes on to say Congress agreed to a fundamentally flawed bill, which created the new crime of circumvention--a crime divorced from over a century and a half of respect for the fair-use rights of consumers. The DMCA, as enacted, quite clearly tilted the balance in the Copyright Act toward complete protection and away from information availability.

"Consider the implications. A time may soon come when what is available for free on library shelves will only be available on a pay-per-use basis. It would be a simple matter for a copyright owner to impose a requirement that a small fee be paid each time a digital book or video documentary is accessed by a library patron. Even the student who wants even the most basic access to only a portion of the book to write a term paper would have to pay to avoid committing a crime."


posted by Blake on Jan 29, 2002 - 14 comments

Librarians targeted in latest copyright battles.

Librarians targeted in latest copyright battles. What, did you think the copyright monopolists were going to forget about librarians defending fair use?
posted by NortonDC on Jul 12, 2001 - 11 comments

Free as Air, Free as Water, Free as Knowledge

Free as Air, Free as Water, Free as Knowledge : is my favorite link to quote people these days. I like especially the references to Ben Franklin. How do we resolve the problem of fair use in a market driven world? Dan Gillmor's latest column, which calls for people to get active on the issue of fair use, brought the speech once again to mind.
posted by artlung on Apr 8, 2001 - 12 comments

Be very afraid.

Be very afraid. The only real solution to this is backlash and boycott. Technical solutions to "InTether" are inadequate (especially since every such will be a violation of the DMCA). If content vendors will only sell their material this way, don't buy! (Ultimately, it's going to take an act of Congress to straighten this all out. How about a law making it illegal to prevent "fair use"?)
posted by Steven Den Beste on Mar 13, 2001 - 30 comments

Librarians against UCITA.

Librarians against UCITA. Librarians on the forefront of preserving the public's right to fair use in copyright law. Kiss your local librarian and ALA member today! For more information, see the ALA UCITA Web site. [Courtesy of ALAWON and NINCH].
posted by leo on Feb 7, 2001 - 3 comments

Napster Says RIAA Trying to Stifle Technology.

Napster Says RIAA Trying to Stifle Technology. Aw yeah, it's nice to see Napster get on the offensive. Armed with data showing that CD sales have increased with the rise in mp3 trading, Napster is now alleging that record companies are against the software because it reduces their 100% control of the music distribution business. But will a court allow Napster to go on while their users walk the fair-use tightrope?
posted by mathowie on Jul 4, 2000 - 23 comments

Found this over at Free Advice in regards to the Elian Gonzalez Spoof Movie:

WHAT IS "FAIR USE" WITH RESPECT TO A COPYRIGHT? Copyrighted work may be used for certain limited purposes by people other than the owner under the doctrine of "fair use." "Fair use" includes reproduction for specific purposes such as:

criticism and comment, including parody
news reporting
teaching
scholarship
research

I beleive that the movie is protected. How else could have the South Park used the photo in last night's episode? I doubt the AP is going to go head to head with Comedy Central over the issue. It is just easy for big companies to threaten the little people and know that they will win. What a shame.
posted by da5id on Apr 27, 2000 - 8 comments

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