Julie is a Non-Residential fellow with Stanford CIS. 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.
Julie advised documentary filmmakers, writers, scholars, artists and other content creators on fair use and other intellectual property issues. She ran the Documentary Film Program and advised filmmakers who use unlicensed clips in their films to help them obtain the insurance coverage necessary to distribute their films. Julie taught 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.
In a decisive victory for defendants beleaguered by baseless copyright infringement claims, U.S. District Court Judge Pauley ruled last week that Plaintiffs Ralph Vargas and Bland- Ricky Roberts must pay Defendants BT and East West Communications $175,000 in attorneys' fees and costs. The fee award follows the Court's decision last year granting Defendants' motion for summary judgment and dismissing Plaintiffs’ case in its entirety.
Floyd Webb successfully defeated William Aguiar’s motion for a preliminary injunction last Friday at a hearing before Judge Wolf in the Massachusetts District Court in Boston. Reading his opinion from the bench, Judge Wolf held that Plaintiff Aguiar had not shown that he was likely to succeed on his copyright infringement claim, even assuming he could prove ownership of the allegedly infringed works, because Webb has demonstrated a likelihood of success on his fair use defense.
In May, BT secured a complete victory over Plaintiffs Ralph Vargas and Bland-Ricky Roberts when the court granted his summary judgment motion and dismissed Plaintiffs' case in its entirety. BT has now moved to recover the attorneys' fees and costs incurred in debunking Plaintiffs' meritless allegations of copyright infringement, which were based entirely on a passing similarity between two drumbeats derived from common elements of popular music.
Sarah Morris is a well-known multimedia artist and filmmaker. In 2007, she debuted her "Origami" series, 24 paintings in which she reworked, redesigned, and reshaped origami crease patterns on canvas. Several origami artists sued Morris for copyright infringement, arguing Morris had unduly appropriated their allegedly copyrightable origami crease patterns in developing the "Origami" series. The Fair Use Project teamed up with attorneys Bob Clarida and Donn Zaretsky to defend Morris. We briefed the fair use issues on summary judgment.
Meltwater News ("Meltwater") is a search engine and research tool that allows users to search for and obtain information about news items that have been made publicly available on the Internet.
We filed an amicus brief 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.
The FUP filed this suit on behalf of a University of Denver conductor and others, challenging Congress’s restoration of copyright to works that had entered the public domain.
We filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Electronic Frontier Foundation asking the First Circuit to affirm the district court’s reduced damages award in Sony v. Tenenbaum, a file-sharing case in which a jury originally ordered a college student to pay $675,000 for infringing copyright in 30 songs.
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.
The Fair Use Project filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Public Knowledge in AP v. Meltwater.
"“The idea that you're going to get an injunction and a finding of infringement based on speculation of security harms without any actual facts to support that concern, the court showed it has no reason to accept it,” said Julie Ahrens, director of copyright and fair use at Stanford Law School's Center for the Internet and Society."
"But CrossFit could face an uphill battle proving that the videos violate their copyright, said Julie Ahrens, director of Copyright and Fair Use at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society. Commentary and criticism enjoys legal protection as free speech—known as “fair use”—even if that might mean using a copy of someone else’s video. It depends partly on whether someone is adding to the video to give it a different meaning, or if, for example, they were just copying it to sell their own workout video.
"You need this for different programs to work together, said Julie Ahrens, director of Copyright and Fair Use at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society: “It’s almost like the alphabet or vocabulary.”"
""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.' ""
""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.""
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?
To register please visit the Bar Association of San Francisco's website.
IP BYTES: Hot Topics in Copyright Law
Come meet CIS and hear about our exciting work and ways to get involved.
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.
Julie Ahrens, Director of Copyright and Fair Use was interviewed on Lost in the Stacks, a Research Library Rock’n’Roll show on WREK 91.1 FM Atlanta.
Listen to the .mp3 here. (Or right click the link to download the file.)
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:
Julie Ahrens, CIS Director of Copyright and Fair Use participated in a panel and workshop hosted by the Hoover Institution Library and Archives and conducted by Kenneth D. Crews titled Copyright, Fair Use, and the Academy: Research, Teaching, and Libraries.
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