News & Blog Posts

Ripping DVDs and Streaming Media for Fair Use

By Renee Hobbs

It’s time for the triennial DMCA 1201 rulemaking process at the U.S.Copyright Office and that means time for another effort to protect the fair use rights of educators and students to use audiovisual content that’s locked up behind encryption for educational and fair use purposes. 

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Fair Use: Building the World of Tomorrow

Post by Greg Cram, Associate Director of Copyright and Information Policy, New York Public Library
In 1939, the New York World’s Fair opened to great pomp and circumstance. The theme of the Fair was “Building the World of Tomorrow.” The aspirational theme reflected the country’s desire to shake off the doldrums of the Great Depression and focus on a better future. Participants included close to 60 nations, 33 states and U.S. territories, and over a thousand exhibitors. During its two seasons, the fair attracted 45 million visitors.
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Fair Use: Getting by with a little help from our friends

Post by Molly Schwartz, Associate Fellow, R Street Institute

Is it legal for me to publish a blog post with this title? Am I violating copyright law? I am, after all, reusing lyrics from the chorus of a popular Beatles song. The recognizability and cultural resonance of the lyrics is exactly what makes it an appealing title for me to use.

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Not Sorry for Certiorari: 7th Circuit breaks from trend of prioritizing “transformative use” in fair use defense to copyright infringement

Jessica Vosgerchian is a 3L at Harvard Law School and a Copyright Fellow for the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication. She has worked on copyright issues in the public and private sectors. 

Last September, the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit diverged from the judicial trend of treating “transformative use” as the most important element in the test to determine whether a defendant’s use of another’s work was fair, and so not infringement under the Copyright Act. In Kienitz v. Sconnie Nation LLC, 766 F.3d 756 (7th Cir. 2014) (Kienitz II), the Court affirmed the lower court’s holding that the defendants’ manipulation of a photo for a t-shirt design constituted fair use but employed a different interpretation of the fair use test.

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