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Posts Tagged: "Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music"

Supreme Court Denies TVEyes v. Fox News, Leaves Intact 2d Circuit Ruling on Market Harm of Transformative Uses

On December 3rd, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition for writ of certiorari in TVEyes, Inc. v. Fox News Network, LLC, declining the opportunity to decide what would have been the Court’s first case on fair use in a copyright context in 20 years. Denying the petition, the Supreme Court declined to answer whether a transformative use of a copyrighted work causes a cognizable market harm under 17 U.S.C. § 107(4) if it is used in connection with a commercially successful business that the author is unlikely to enter or authorize.

Copyright Fair Use Cases of the United States Supreme Court

October overwhelmingly means one thing in the legal world. No, not Halloween, although to some it may seem just as scary. Every October the United States Supreme Court breaks its hibernation and starts its new session. Every case heard and decision handed down by the Supreme Court between October 1, 2012 and the end of June 2013 will be a part of the Court’s October 2012 term. This, the first of what will be a handful of SCOTUS related intellectual property articles, is a summary of the most important Supreme Court copyright fair use cases dating back to Baker v. Selden in 1879.

Olympic Gymnastics Parody and the 2 Live Crew

Given the fact that the IOC is notoriously litigious, are the WSJ and the Guardian in trouble for their little vignettes? Nah -thanks to the 2 Live Crew. Parody is a defense that falls under the broader category of Fair Use. The 2 Live Crew case (Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, 510 U.S. 569 (1994)) is the Fair Use decision that all other interpretations flow from. The Court had to start with determining if 2 Live Crew’s use was satire or parody. Satire, as defined by the Campbell court and the Oxford Dictionary in 1994, is a work “in which prevalent follies or vices are assailed with ridicule”, which is a very weird way of saying “your work is being made fun of for being stupid”. Parody, however, is more closely related to a spoof or a humorous exaggeration. Courts still struggle with both concepts in the realm of copyright infringement and the fair use defense. But we did learn from Campbell is that commercial use does not take a use out of the realm of parody.