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In Focus

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Two skyline photo cases, two different results

Mark Sableman August 9, 2018
Side by side comparison of a photo of Philadelphia skyline and a window sign

Two cases involving photographs of city skylines illustrate what is, and isn’t, copyright infringement. READ MORE

In infringement, sometimes the little things don’t mean a lot

Mike Nepple May 21, 2018
hand spraypainting a wall

A fleeting glimpse of graffiti in the background of an HBO series does not constitute copyright infringement, a federal judge has ruled. READ MORE

Grumpy Cat still grumpy despite big copyright verdict

Mike Nepple January 31, 2018
cat hiding in a paper bag

The Internet-famous feline known as Grumpy Cat won a substantial jury verdict in a copyright case that demonstrates the importance of securing a clear agreement from license owners before adding their likeness to additional products. READ MORE

Fair use is never simple

Mike Nepple September 26, 2017
Dr. Phil McGraw

To secure evidence for an anticipated lawsuit against TV host Dr. Phil McGraw, a producer for the show, Leah Rothman, recorded nine seconds of the show’s unaired archive footage onto her cellphone. The employee probably felt she had a strong case for making the recording. But a decision entered against her shows that fair use is never simple and straightforward, and can be argued from many different angles. READ MORE

Update: Court finds transformative nature of alleged infringing work can’t be decided by side-by-side comparison

Mike Nepple August 10, 2017
Comparison of Rastafarian images

In an update to our post on a case filed last year, a federal court in New York recently denied appropriation artist Richard’s Prince’s motion to dismiss Donald Graham’s copyright infringement lawsuit. READ MORE

Third verse same as the first - Will Richard Prince’s transformation defense work yet again?

Mike Nepple May 8, 2017
In Focus_default blog

Richard Prince used Eric McNatt’s 2014 photograph of Alex Gordon by cropping McNatt’s photograph, surrounding it with his Instagram frame, and adding three lines of text and emojis. READ MORE

Photographer hits retailer over photo of player hitting Joey Bats

Mike Nepple March 20, 2017
Rougned Odor hitting Jose Bautista

A Texas-based photographer has sued a sports media website for allegedly selling copies of his copyrighted photo of an infamous scuffle at second base between pro baseball players Rougned Odor and Jose Bautista. READ MORE

When good copyright laws go bad: Indictment lays out porn ‘trolling’ scheme

Mark Sableman March 8, 2017
illustration of a man with money held over his mouth

What happens when you use legitimate means to achieve despicable ends? In the case of two attorneys at the center of a high-profile copyright enforcement scheme involving pornographic movies, you end up on the receiving end of a federal indictment. READ MORE

Fox News fair use claim for Facebook post of 9-11 image remains unresolved

Mike Nepple July 7, 2016
In Focus_default blog

Earlier this year, just hours before beginning jury selection, Fox News settled a copyright dispute regarding its use of Thomas Franklin’s iconic photograph, “Raising the Flag at Ground Zero,” thus leaving its fair use argument unresolved. READ MORE