Artists, This Is Why It Pays to Register Your Copyrights
This case has a bit of history. Artist Frederick Bouchat had previously won a copyright infringement lawsuit against the NFL, alleging that the Baltimore Ravens had used part of his drawing without permission. Although he won the fight, he lost on the damages argument (the jury awarded no damages to Bouchat, finding that no part of the NFL ‘s profits were attributable to the infringement. The Ravens stopped using the infringing logo in 1998.).
Fast forward to a football video game, created by EA Sports, which featured “throwback” uniforms of football teams. You guessed it. The video game allowed players to pick the Baltimore Ravens uniform from 1996, complete with the infringing Flying B logo.
Outcome? A federal district court in Maryland determined that EA Sports’ use of Bouchat’s Baltimore Ravens’ logo in its “Madden NFL” game was not a fair use. It remains to be seen whether Bouchat will be awarded monetary damages for this infringement.
Via JD Supra. The article briefly discusses the four fair use factors.