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.
Last week, President Obama met with Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss the ongoing problem of Chinese cyber espionage. The Obama administration has recently detailed increased efforts by some companies and their governments (most notably Chinese on both counts) to steal valuable information from the U.S.
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:
Under a regime of limited economic incentive for creativity and confined commodification of information, humanity produced the greatest portion of human knowledge. To mention some, the Bible, the Qur'an, the Mahābhārata, the Iliad and Odyssey, the Aeneid, the Scandinavian Sagas, the German Lay of the Nibelungs, the Celtic legends of Arthur, the Romances and Chanson De Geste all came to life well before strong economic rights were attached to creativity.
Imagine if the inventor of the Segway claimed to own "any thing that moves in response to human commands." Or if the inventor of the telegraph applied for a patent covering any use of electric current for communication. Absurdly overbroad claims like these would not be allowed, right? Unfortunately, the Patent Office does not do a good job of policing overly broad claims. August's Stupid Patent of the Month, U.S. Patent No.
We successfully defended Grammy-nominated American music producer, composer, and songwriter, Brain Transeau’s (better known by his stage name, BT), against spurious copyright infringement claims.
We represented visual artist Shepard Fairey in connection with the AP’s claim that his iconic “Hope” poster in support of President Obama’s campaign infringes the AP’s copyrights. We represented Fairey because we believe his artistic transformation of a news photograph to convey a political message fell within the protection of the fair use doctrine and presented an important example of why fair use is essential for free expression.
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.
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.
"To give just a sense of just how out of touch the law has become, I askedDaniel Nazer, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, to highlight the worst patents he’s come across this year. Nazer, who holds the Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents (yes, really), had little trouble coming up with these four, culled from a monthly “Stupid Patent of the Month” post he writes for the EFF site.
"“There’s this perverse thing where sometimes the more obvious a thing is, the harder it is to prove it’s been awarded a patent improperly because it’s so obvious that no one would write it down so there’s no documentation,” said EFF staff attorney Daniel Nazer. “No one is going to write in a technical article, ‘hey it might be a good idea to reach out to people to pay for services,’ because that’s so obvious.”
"Annemarie Bridy, a University of Idaho law professor and affiliate scholar at Stanford University's Center for Internet and Society, co-wrote a law professors' amicus brief on behalf of YouTube Inc. in the Viacom v. YouTube case, which raised some similar issues. She says she has been following BMG v. Cox and that the court's decision on the DMCA safe harbor provision is the issue in the case that is most likely to have wider-reaching implications.
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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?
This week, David Levine interviews Daniel Nazer, a Staff Attorney on the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s intellectual property team, focusing on patent reform.
This week, David Levine interviews Prof. Victoria Stodden of Columbia University.
CIS Affiliate Scholar David Levine interviews Prof. Deven Desai of Thomas Jefferson Law School, on 3D printing.