Julie is the Director of Copyright and Fair Use and a Lecturer in Law. She represents writers, filmmakers, musicians, and others who rely on fair use in creating their works. Julie has represented visual artist Shepard Fairey in copyright litigation against The Associated Press over Fairey’s “Obama Hope” posters, RDR Books in its copyright and Lanham Act dispute with J.K. Rowling and Warner Brothers over the Harry Potter Lexicon, the producers and distributors of the film “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” in litigation against Yoko Ono Lennon and EMI Records, and Professor Carol Shloss in her lawsuit against the Estate of James Joyce. Julie has also represented various organizations as amicus curiae in federal appeals courts throughout the country, including the International Documentary Association, The Motion Picture Association of America, Inc., The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and the American Library Association. In addition to litigating, Julie advises documentary filmmakers, writers, scholars, artists and other content creators on fair use and other intellectual property issues. She runs the Documentary Film Program and advises filmmakers who use unlicensed clips in their films to help them obtain the insurance coverage necessary to distribute their films. As a Lecturer in Law, Julie teaches the Cyberlaw / Fair Use Clinic. Before joining Stanford, Julie was a litigation attorney in the San Francisco office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP, where, among other matters, she was the lead attorney defending the musician and electronic composer, BT, in a copyright infringement case in the Southern District of New York. She has litigated a variety of matters in the state and federal courts of California and New York. Julie received her J.D. cum laude from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in 2002. She is admitted to the bars of California and New York.
Today the Second Circuit Court of Appeals issued a long-awaited decision in favor of fair use in Cariou v. Prince. Reversing the district court’s finding of infringement, the Court held that Richard Prince’s use of Patrick Cariou’s photographs in 25 of his 30 Canal Series paintings was a fair use. The decision affirms an important tradition in modern art that relies on the appropriation of existing images to create highly expressive works with new meaning. Read more » about Second Circuit Victory for Richard Prince and Appropriation Art
Today Congress held hearings on the latest IP legislation, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). We are taking part in American Censorship Day to help spread the word and stop this bill. We’ve outlined five of the most important problems with SOPA.
1. SOPA violates due process. Under SOPA, any private copyright or trademark owner can cut-off advertising and payments to any website by alleging that the operator “avoid[ed] confirming a high probability” that “a portion” of its site is being used to infringe copyrights. Advertisers and payment companies (e.g. Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal) are then required to stop doing business with that site. It seems likely that content owners (or people merely claiming to be content owners) will often succeed in shutting down websites without ever going to court. The proposed legislation also gives the Attorney General and the Justice Department the power to shut down websites before they are actually judged infringing. Courts will be able to order any Internet service provider to stop recognizing an accused site immediately upon application by the Attorney General, after an ex parte hearing. By failing to guarantee the challenged websites notice or an opportunity to be heard in court before their sites are shutdown, SOPA violates due process. Read more: Letter to Congress from over 100 law professors techdirt explains that SOPA would create the Great Firewall of America.Read more » about Stop Censorship: The Problems With SOPA
On Monday we filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Electronic Frontier Foundation in the Sony v. Tenenbaum case, pending in in the First Circuit Court of Appeals. Tenebaum was sued and found liable for copyright infringement for sharing 30 music files. The jury awarded the record label plaintiffs $675,000 in damages. The District Court reduced that award to $67,500, citing constitutional and fairness concerns. Read more » about Sony v. Tenenbaum: Amicus Brief Urges Due Process Review of Copyright Damages Awards
After years of litigation based on spurious allegations of copyright infringement, BT was vindicated again this week when the Second Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal of the case on summary judgment and the award of $175,000 in attorneys' fees to BT. Read more » about BT Wins Again: Second Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment and $175,000 Fee Award
Michael Savage’s motion to be dismissed as a defendant in Brave New Films’ wrongful DMCA takedown lawsuit was denied by Judge Illston on April 15. As explained in earlier posts, Original Talk Radio Network, the national syndicator of Savage’s radio show, sent a takedown notice to YouTube demanding that YouTube remove BNF’s video "Michael Savage Hates Muslims." BNF’s video uses audio clips of The Michael Savage Show to criticize Savage’s overtly hostile, anti-Muslim views. Read more » about Court Denies Savage's Motion to Dismiss
After the Estate of James Joyce refused to allow a scholar to quote Joyce in her book, we successfully defended her right under the fair use doctrine to use the quotes she needed to illustrate her scholarship. After we prevailed in the case, the Estate paid $240,000 of our client’s legal fees. Read more » about Shloss v. Estate of Joyce
After Original Talk Radio Network, the nationwide distributor of Michael Savage’s radio show, issued a takedown notice against a video critical of Savage’s portrayal of Muslims, we filed a lawsuit that convinced the company to withdraw its objections to our client’s film. Read more » about Brave New Films v. Savage
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
On Nov. 14, a New York federal court judge ruled to uphold Google’s ambitious project to scan and digitize millions of books from cooperating libraries into a massive, searchable online database. This was a victory not only for Google but also for the greater public good. Judge Denny Chin dismissed a copyright lawsuit brought by authors, finding that Google’s copying and indexing of more than 20 million books to create a new, highly useful search tool is protected by fair use. Read more » about Google's triumph advances transformative use of copyrighted work
""They (Viacom) see it as a useful way to monetize their content," said Julie Ahrens, director of copyright and fair use at Stanford University's Center for Internet and Society. "They don't control every copy of songs, movies or clips that get put up on YouTube, but if a user puts it up, they can say, 'OK, we know it's there and we're OK with it.' "" Read more » about Google, Viacom settle suit over YouTube
""The idea that copyright is a tool that's going to be used to censor speech we don't like ... that's very dangerous," said Julie Ahrens, director of copyright and fair use at Stanford University's Center for Internet and Society. "It is a pretty stunning decision."" Read more » about Google ordered to take down YouTube anti-Muslim video
"But, he said, if Comedy Central is using the Starbucks name solely to draw attention to a show that has nothing to do with Starbucks, the coffee giant could make a credible trademark case against them. Is it worth it?
Julie Ahrens, director of copyright and fair use at the Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society, says "no."
“If I’m at Starbucks and this is in my decision-making power, do I think I should use the power to make sure nobody makes fun of us? Me personally, I don’t think so.”" Read more » about Update: 'Dumb Starbucks' shut down by health officials after Comedy Central show takes credit
"“The greater message is, ‘Let's rethink how we stereotype what's a girl's role, or what a girl's product might be,’” said Julie Ahrens, director of Copyright and Fair Use at Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society. “So this product itself has its own social goal as well. So I think that gives the GoldieBlox some real ammunition in a fair use argument … And frankly, as far as whether it’s commercial or not, they aren't selling a CD that's competing with the Beastie Boys music.”" Read more » about Beastie Boys Slam GoldieBlox With Counter Lawsuit
"Then I spoke to an actual expert, Julie Ahrens, Director of Copyright & Fair Use at Stanford’s Center for Internet & Society. She convinced me that Goldieblox is probably in the right here. Both legally, but also in whatever larger ethical artistic morass this case really seems to belong to. After all, while the Goldieblox ad is, in fact, an ad, it’s also a legitimate piece of cultural criticism." Read more » about Goldieblox v. Beastie Boys: Let's Ask An Actual Expert
Please RSVP http://bpfairuse.eventbrite.com Password: 950battery The song you sampled for an intro sequence that you don’t have the license for- The uncredited movie clips you inserted into a montage- The image you pulled from social media- You can use those in your production, because they’re all covered by Fair Use ... right? Read more » about Copyright & Fair Use Issues in the Visual Motion Arts
Presenter: Julie Ahrens
Fair Use is an important doctrine allowing use of copyrighted works without the owner’s consent in certain situations. But documentary filmmakers and producers of online content under utilize the fair use doctrine in their work. The creation and circulation of information to the public, and public debate, is shaped and limited as a result. This session will explore the fundamentals of fair use, as well as what may and may not be permissible, best practices and new developments. Read more » about Fair Use: Now More than Ever
View the YouTube video here.
The Visual and Critical Studies Copyright Forum features conversations around milestone copyright case studies of significance to artists, scholars, and critics. Moderated by Matteo Bittanti, the Copyright Forum introduces basic concepts of "fair use" policies and how best to navigate requesting permissions for work in a professional arts setting.
Copyright Forum moderated by CCA faculty Matteo Bittanti with special guests: Read more » about Visual and Critical Studies Copyright Forum
View the full presentation here. (Silverlight required.)
Julie Ahrens talk on "Google Books and the Evolution of Fair Use" begins at 1:35.
Stanford Fair Use Project
K&L Gates LLP
Munger Tolles & Olsen LLP
Zynga Inc. Read more » about IP BYTES: Hot Topics in Copyright Law
Fair use decision for the NFL, NSA surveillance ruling, car for hire services and more.
Guests: Julie Ahrens and Larry Downes. Read more » about Barnacles, Blackouts, and Blue Ribbons
December 12, 2013 - Copyright and Fair Use Issues in the Visual Motion Arts
The song you sampled for an intro sequence that you don't have the license for-
The uncredited movie clips you inserted into a montage-
The image you pulled from social media-
You can use those in your production, because they're all covered by Fair Use ... right? Read more » about The Key to Fair Use: Transformation