Copyright Protection Gave Superman the Ability to Stop Bullets; Fair Use Made Him a God

Superman is a Depression-era hero thriving in a post-industrial world. His many iterations began with a short story written by a high school student about a mad scientist who performed experiments on men waiting in bread lines. Superman was the mad scientist, he was bald, and he was not a “good guy.” The two high school students who continued to develop Superman eventually realized that people living through the Great Depression needed a hero who could root out corruption, manhandle machines, and sympathize with human frailty. Without early copyright protection, Superman almost certainly would not have developed into the well-known character he is today. Without the Fair Use exception to copyright infringement, however, Superman would not have developed into an archetype. Through Superman, we will trace the history of Fair Use and highlight its importance. The talk will be given by Anderson Duff, Partner at Revision Legal, New York, NY.

Yale University