Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Is Bill Cosby rape documentary protected by fair use?

The production company that made The Cosby Show has sued the BBC (.pdf) over a documentary the British network aired about the rape allegations against Bill Cosby. Carsey-Werner, the production company that is the plaintiff in the case, says that the documentary is infringing its copyright because it uses eight audiovisual clips and two musical cues from The Cosby Show.

Fair use or silencing of criticism?


The Perils of Copyright Litigation

There are two sides to every coin, so the saying goes. Or, as one of our martial arts instructors used to say, “i will hit you as hard as you hit me.”

Probably two simple philosophies to keep in mind when advising a client. For example, see this story on how CBS sued a photographer for copyright infringement after the same photographer sued CBS alleging copyright infringement.

Aggression is very much like candy and beer.


Alex Strada Is Contractually Binding Her Collectors to Support Emerging Female Artists

Oral Arguments, October 28, 2017, NYU. © The Art & Law Program. Courtesy of The Art & Law Program.

Oral Arguments, October 28, 2017, NYU. © The Art & Law Program. Courtesy of The Art & Law Program.

Alex Strada, a 2016 alumna of The Art & Law Program, gets some really nice coverage in this Artsy article by Isaac Kaplan on her use of contracts to address gender inequities in the art world.


“Nuance and careful reasoning are not the tools of the oppressor…”

No one should have to pass someone else’s ideological purity test to be allowed to speak. University life — along with civic life — dies without the free exchange of ideas.

Wonderful article by a college professor on the dangers of letting protesters shut down academic freedom.

Via The Washington Post.


Are Courts Tiring of Fair Use?


In contrast with the above, over the past year or so courts — including in the Second Circuit — have begun to move away from this broad application of the fair use doctrine, adhering instead to a stricter view of what is transformative, placing more emphasis on the commercial nature of the infringing work, narrowing how much of a work can be “fairly used,” and focusing on what uses will leave the original work’s primary and secondary markets intact.

More via Law360 (subscription required).


Halloween and Copyright; Not So Scary Afterall

halloween and copyright

Trick-or-treaters don’t need to ask Disney or Marvel for permission to dress up as Snow White or Spiderman. Because of fair use, you can make your own costume?—?whether it’s handsewn, 3D-printed, or just thrown together from clothes you already own.

Interesting read here.


“Overplayed Warhol Tricks No Longer Renew Perspective”

Images in question in the Graham v. Prince copyright infringement case.

Images in question in the Graham v. Prince copyright infringement case.

If you’re still thinking about the Graham v. Prince copyright/appropriation case, here’s a good article by The Federalist’s Robin Ridless. One point usually brought up by the art law intelligentsia is that appropriation is, on its face, still radical.

Art historians will testify the practice has a long and vaunted tradition. Indeed, it does. But our habits of cultural consumption change, and today we must ask: Does this overplayed Warholian strategy still have the capacity to shock and surprise?

To the art law intelligentsia, appropriation is most certainly shocking and surprising, but we can certainly forgive their dying devotion and simply chalk it up to the probability that they have just opened their very first Rizzoli art history book fresh from Amazon Prime. That, or they still read Baudrillard with libidinal gusto.


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