Tony Falzone is the Deputy General Counsel at Pinterest, Inc.
Prior to joining Pinterest, Tony co-founded CIS’s Fair Use Project, which he led as its Executive Director from 2006 to 2012. In the course of his work at CIS, Tony represented conductor Lawrence Golan in his challenge to Congress's constitutional power to remove works from the public domain, which he argued before the Supreme Court of the United States. He also represented visual artist Shepard Fairey in copyright litigation against The Associated Press over Fairey's "Obama Hope" posters, and represented RDR Books as trial counsel in its copyright and Lanham Act dispute with J.K. Rowling and Warner Brothers over the Harry Potter Lexicon. Those cases followed notable victories on behalf of the producers and distributors of the film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed in litigation against Yoko Ono Lennon and EMI Records, on behalf of Professor Carol Shloss in her lawsuit against the Estate of James Joyce. Tony also represented a wide array of organizations as amicus curiae in federal appeals courts throughout the country, including The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Creative Commons, and the American Library Association. In addition to litigating, Tony advised dozens of documentary filmmakers, writers, artists and other content creators on fair use and other intellectual property issues.
As a Lecturer in Law, Tony has taught both lecture and clinical courses at Stanford Law School, including Fair Use in Film, Advanced Topics in Cyberlaw, and the Cyberlaw / Fair Use Clinic.
Prior to his work at Stanford, Tony was a litigation partner in the San Francisco office of Bingham McCutchen. He is a 1997 graduate of Harvard Law School, and was a law clerk to the Hon. Barry T. Moskowitz, U.S. District Judge, Southern District of California.
Reference guides and companion books about literary works have been a critically important part of literature since its inception, and the right to publish them stood largely unchallenged. We agreed to help defend the Harry Potter Lexicon because J.K. Rowling's claims threatened that right, and because we believe the fair use doctrine protects the Lexicon, and other publications like it. We tried the case in April in a Manhattan Court and waited through the summer for a decision.
Today we found out we lost. In a thoughtful and meticulous decision spanning 68 pages, the Court recognized that as a general matter authors do not have the right to stop publication of reference guides and companion books about literary works, and issued an important explanation of why reference guides are not derivative works. Needless to say, we're very happy the Court vindicated these important principles.
But the Lexicon did not fare so well. The Court held the Lexicon infringed Ms. Rowling's copyright, was not protected by fair use, and permanently enjoined the publication of it. (Read the full decision here.)
Needless to say we're disappointed, as is our client, RDR Books. Careful and thoughtful as the decision is, we think it's wrong. So stay tuned to see where we go from here. In the meantime, thank Roger Rapoport, the Publisher of RDR Books for having the courage to stand up for free speech and fair use. He fought a fight that not many would have the stomach to fight, and we are proud to fight with him.
While you're at it, thank Steve Vander Ark. It's not easy to stand up to your hero, or bear the unjustified scorn of your fellow fans.
Finally, remember that avada kedavra -- the killing curse -- is not always fatal. One wizard survived it. Three times. And it was he who cast the spell (and won't be named here) that ultimately suffered for it. Maybe someday the Lexicon will be known as The Book That Lived. Read more » about Avada Kedavra -- The Harry Potter Lexicon Disappears
Many have worried about the role of intermediaries who provide platforms for sharing information and expression on the internet, and their sometimes profound power to make content disappear. But here is an example of one intermediary -- a big and very important one -- that did the right thing.
Students for a Free Tibet posted a video on YouTube showing their protest at the Chinese consulate in New York, which included various images relating to the Beijing Olympics, all to speak against China's human rights record -- a fair use to be sure.
The International Olympic Committee filed a DMCA takedown notice and the video was removed. Upon learning more about the content of the removed video, YouTube contacted the IOC and asked them if they really planned to pursue a claim about this [really very preposterous position] and if not, to withdraw the takedown notice. To the IOC's credit, they retracted the notice and the video was reposted within hours.
So here is an intermediary who took an interest in free speech and fair use, even when it didn't necessarily have to. Yes, that followed widespread outrage among bloggers and others. Yes, the situation would have been much tougher if the IOC had maintained its irresponsible position. But we should all be pleased to see YouTube going out of its way to do more than it's required to do under the law to protect free expression. Read more » about YouTube Shows Us How To Be A Good Intermediary
Free licenses play a vitally important role in fostering creative and collaborative use of copyrighted material. Creative Commons is perhaps the best example, with a around 130 million works under CC licenses, which tell you in advance what you can and cannot do with a work.
Some have wondered how effectively you can enforce a free license if somebody violates the terms of it. Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit -- one of the most influential in the country -- answered that question forcefully by affirming the enforceability of free licenses through infringement claims. (We represented Creative Commons and several other organizations that support free and open source licensing as amicus parties in this case.)
This is a tremendously important victory for free licensing in a tremendously influential court. Read the full opinion here. Read more » about Federal Circuit Issues Important Decision Regarding Enforceability of Free Licenses; CIS Represents Creative Commons As Amicus
Two months ago, a Manhattan federal court rejected Yoko Ono Lennon's attempt to enjoin the further showing and distribution of Expelled: No Intelligence allowed on the ground that film used fifteen seconds of the John Lennon song Imagine.
EMI Records filed a nearly identical claim in state court based on the film's use of the sound recording, and demanded a nearly identical injunction. We're happy to report the state court has now denied EMI's request for an injunction.
The state court's order is particularly important because it establishes that fair use applies to the use of sound recordings under common law copyright, and rejects the insane conclusion of the Sixth Circuit in Bridgeport Music v. Dimension Films that there is no such thing as de minimis use when it comes to sound recordings.
Read the full order here. Read more » about New York Supreme Court Rejects EMI's Bid to Enjoin Expelled
Building on the tremendous success they have achieved with the Documentary Filmmakers' Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use, the Center for Social Media today released another valuable tool for content creators -- the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video
The ability to easily create and share online video presents unprecedented opportunities for self-expression, but has at the same time generated significant confusion about what is permissible versus impermissible copying. As part of the panel that helped shape this Code of Best Practices, I hope it creates a growing consensus about how to balance the rights of copyright holders and the rights of those who would use content for new, valuable, and expressive purposes. Read more » about Center for Social Media Releases Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video
We filed an amicus brief on behalf of a group of library associations and others asking the Second Circuit to reverse a lower court’s injunction of the publication of 60 Years Later: Coming through the Rye an unauthorized story based on J.D. Salinger’s in Catcher In The Rye. Read more » about Salinger v. Colting, et al.
We filed an amicus brief in the Federal Circuit on behalf of the Warhol Foundation and Warhol Museum, contemporary artists and law professors in support of the U.S. Postal Service, urging affirmance of the district court’s finding of fair use. Read more » about Gaylord v. U.S. Postal Service
Yoko Ono and EMI sued a documentary filmmaker for using a short clip from the John Lennon song “Imagine” as part of a critique of the lyrics of the song. We defended the filmmaker and successfully argued that the use of the copyrighted song was fair use. Read more » about Lennon v. Premise Media
In this case, two archives challenged statutes that extended copyright terms unconditionally—the Copyright Renewal Act and the Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA)—as unconstitutional under Copyright Clause and the First Amendment. Read more » about Kahle v. Gonzales
This Article consists of some general observations and a few examples that illustrate them. First, technology can benefit tremendously from government involvement. Regulation may be part of that involvement, but thinking just in terms of regu‐ lation obscures some important points. When people talk about regulating technology, they usually assume technology is a private good, and the question becomes whether—and how— the government should regulate private property. This ob‐ scures the truth that technology is frequently a product of pub‐ lic and private collaboration. Read more » about Regulation and Technology
The first part of this article outlined the mechanics of the Megaupload website, and the novel questions of criminal inducement on which the government's indictment is premised. Here, we explore two more extensions of existing law on which the indictment is based, and the impact this prosecution is likely to have on Internet innovators and users alike. Read more » about Megaupload Indictment Leaves Everyone Guessing - Part 2
Days after anti-piracy legislation stalled in Congress, the U.S. Department of Justice coordinated an unprecedented raid on the Hong Kong-based website Megaupload.com. New Zealand law enforcement agents swooped in by helicopter to arrest founder Kim Dotcom at his home outside of Auckland, and seized millions of dollars worth of art, vehicles and real estate. Six other Megaupload employees were also arrested. Meanwhile, the Justice Department seized Megaupload's domain names and the data of at least 50 million users worldwide. Read more » about Megaupload.com Indictment Leaves Everyone Guessing - Part 1
Amicus brief filed in the Second Circuit on behalf of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts urging the appeals court to reverse a district court decision that ignored established fair use principles that many artists rely upon in creating their work. Read more » about Cariou v. Prince - Amicus Brief
For the originator of a meme, legal protections are slim, and that’s the way it should be, says copyright attorney Anthony Falzone, executive director of the Fair Use Project at Stanford Law School. “If you’re the first person to do the video S- -t Girls Say, that doesn’t mean someone else can’t use the same idea with girls saying different stuff,” he says. “Just because you’re the first one to do something doesn’t mean you should be the only one to get to do it.”
Read the full publication at the original link below. Read more » about The Growing Power of the Meme
Anthony Falzone, Executive Director of the Fair Use Project, along with Larry Kramer, Mark Lemley, Richard Epstein, Peter Thiel and Ted Ullyot in the Federalist Society's panel "Effect of Regulation on Technology & Innovation. Read more » about Effect of Regulation on Technology & Innovation
Four Factors In Search Of a Question: Anchoring Fair Use to Free Expression and Social Value Read more » about Four Factors In Search Of a Question: Anchoring Fair Use to Free Expression and Social Value
The Online News Association, in conjunction with the UNC Center for Media Law & Policy, the Stanford Law School Center for Internet & Society and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, presents the Third Annual Law School for Digital Journalists, part of the Thursday Workshops at ONA’s 2012 Conference & Awards Banquet, Sept. 20-23. Read more » about ONA12 Law School for Digital Journalists
Join us for an evening conversation with CIS Executive Director of the Fair Use Project Anthony Falzone and Congressman Darrell Issa where they will discuss topics about SOPA, PIPA and internet freedom. Read more » about SOPA, PIPA and Internet Freedom Where Do We Go From Here?
Hosted by the Federalist Society. More info about this event.
Anthony Falzone and Mark Schultz will debate whether significant developments in U.S. copyright law work to protect or violate individual freedom. Professor Paul Goldstein will moderate. Mr. Flazone is the Executive Director of the Fair Use Project with SLS's Center for Internet and Society. Mr. Schultz is a professor of law at Southern Illinois University School of Law, and his research focuses on the intersection of copyright and social norms.
Golan v. Holder involves a challenge to the constitutionality of the 1994 Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA), which restored copyright in foreign works previously in the public domain under U.S. copyright law. The plaintiffs in the case have challenged the URAA as contravening both the "limited times" requirement and the First Amendment. In October 2011, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case and is expected to issue a ruling before June 2012. Read more » about Copyright and the Public Domain After Golan
An evening conversation with CIS Executive Director of the Fair Use Project Anthony Falzone and Congressman Darrell Issa where they will discuss topics about SOPA, PIPA and internet freedom. Read more » about SOPA, PIPA and Internet Freedom - Where Do We Go From Here? Audio
An evening conversation with CIS Executive Director of the Fair Use Project Anthony Falzone and Congressman Darrell Issa where they will discuss topics about SOPA, PIPA and internet freedom. Read more » about SOPA, PIPA and Internet Freedom - Where Do We Go From Here? Video
A growing chorus of opposition has emerged around the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) now pending in the House, as well as its Senate counterpart, the PROTECT-IP Act. If enacted, SOPA would provide unprecedented power for law enforcement and private actors to force service providers to block access to internet sites or shut off revenue streams. Read more » about What's Wrong With SOPA? - Video
A growing chorus of opposition has emerged around the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) now pending in the House, as well as its Senate counterpart, the PROTECT-IP Act. If enacted, SOPA would provide unprecedented power for law enforcement and private actors to force service providers to block access to internet sites or shut off revenue streams. Read more » about What's Wrong With SOPA? - Audio
On April 21, 2011, YouTube invited the public to ask our CIS Fair Use experts questions regarding fair use.
Anthony Falzone, Executive Director of the Fair Use Project, and Julie Ahrens, Associate Director of the Fair Use Project, answer a selection of questions. Read more » about CIS Fair Use Legal Experts Answer Fair Use Questions