Tony Falzone is the Deputy General Counsel at Pinterest, Inc.
The Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School is a leader in the study of the law and policy around the Internet and other emerging technologies.
A healthy copyright system must balance the need to provide strong economic incentives through exclusive rights with the need to protect important public interests like free speech and expression. Fair use is foundational to that balance. It's role is to prevent copyright from stifling the creativity it is supposed to foster, and from imposing other burdens that would inhibit rather than promote the creation and spread of knowledge and learning.
The Fair Use Project (FUP) was founded in 2006 to provide legal support to a range of projects designed to clarify, and extend, the boundaries of fair use in order to enhance creative freedom and protect important public rights. It is the only organization in the country dedicated specifically to providing free and comprehensive legal representation to authors, filmmakers, artists, musicians and other content creators who face unmerited copyright claims, or other improper restrictions on their expressive interests. The FUP has litigated important cases across the country, and in the Supreme Court of the United States, and worked with scores of filmmakers and other content creators to secure the unimpeded release of their work.
Tony Falzone is the Deputy General Counsel at Pinterest, Inc.
Brett Frischmann’s expertise is in intellectual property and internet law. After clerking for the Honorable Fred I. Parker of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and practicing at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering in Washington, DC, he joined the Loyola University Chicago law faculty in 2002. He has held visiting appointments at Cornell and Fordham.
Lauren is an experienced attorney, frequent speaker and start-up advisor who has worked in the field of Internet law and policy since 1995. She is the founder of BlurryEdge Strategies, a legal and strategy consulting firm located in San Francisco that advises technology companies and investors on cutting-edge legal issues.
Should individuals hold veto power over depictions of reality? That's the question at the heart of Hart v. Electronic Arts, Inc., and we here at the Fair Use Project think the answer is a resounding "no."
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.
This has been a busy Internet law week. I'd like to sum up some of the more interesting developments:
Frederick Bouchat has been serially litigating against the NFL and the Baltimore Ravens organization for more than a decade.
Climate change is a significant and complex problem facing the world today. To solve the problem will require the coordinated efforts of both the public and private sectors. As with earlier challenges of global significance (such as the polio epidemic), new and improved technologies promise solutions.
You know when you break up with someone and they just don’t get the message? A few months later, they’re trying again, testing the waters with a few small things that just keep getting bigger. They friend you again on Facebook. They start liking your posts. They show up at a party they expect you to be at. They ask you for drinks, just to “catch up,” you know? And then they talk about the way things used to be, and if only you two could try again. And you’re like, “What part of ‘I never want you to be a part of my life’ did you not understand?”
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.
In their essay “Fake It Till You Make It” (July/August 2013), Kal Raustiala and Christopher Sprigman urged the United States to “relax” when it comes to the flagrant disregard for intellectual property laws in China. The authors make two essential arguments: first, that the United States in its early days, like China today, was a “pirate nation,” and second, that copying drove the United States’ economic growth.
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.
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.
We defended the publisher of the Harry Potter Lexicon against suit from J.K. Rowling and Warner Brothers.
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.
"Daniel Nazer, the Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a high-tech civil liberties group, is amused by Reben's project — but he's not so sure it's going to help.
"The patent office looks for prior art when they review patents," he says, "but they tend to look in pretty narrow domains like published technical journals. ... Part of our work is to try and get the patent office to look more broadly.""
"“The VENUE Act would make it harder for companies to file a suit in districts that don’t have meaningful connection to the suit,” Daniel Nazer, staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents, told the Southeast Texas Record. “This bill is really about making sure disputes are filed somewhere that makes sense.”"
"Cooke's order binding the domain registrars, who were not parties to the case, claims authority to do so based on the All Writs Act—the same short law that's now part of the national debate over a court order issued to Apple in a high-profile terrorism case.
"Daniel Nazer, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation who holds the delightfully titled Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents, had cautious praise for LOT.
“It’s a targeted program that’s good for limiting the supply of patents to the very worst actors who use litigation to shake down people for settlements,” he said. “But it doesn’t stop problems with patent quality and with operating companies attacking each other.”
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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
Prof. Edward Lee of Chicago-Kent Law School, author of The Fight for the Future: How People Defeated Hollywood and Saved the Internet — For Now.
CIS Affiliate Scholar David Levine interviews Jonathan Band of policybandwidth.com.