What is the fair use defense to copyright infringement?
A recent court case involving LeBron James’ tattoo could set important case precedent on the issue of the fair use defense. In the case, Solid Oak Sketches, the owner of James’ prominent lion’s head tattoo, filed suit against Take-Two Interactive Software for copyright infringement after Take-Two used the tattoo on its virtual LeBron James in a video game. Take-Two filed a
What is the Fair Use Defense?
Fair use is
Fair use can be difficult to ascertain. Most cases will turn on whether the use was transformative. The term transformative is not well defined in the statutory law, but case law has provided it with a clearer definition. Fair use will generally fall into the categories of commentary and criticism or parody.
Commentary and Criticism
If you are commenting on or critiquing a copyrighted work, fair use will allow you to reproduce a part of the work in order to accomplish your purposes. This could include quoting a few lines from a famous song in your music review or copying a few lines from a news article for use in a lesson. Your use must be enhanced by including some of the copyrighted material.
A parody involves a work that ridicules a famous work through imitation in a comedic manner. Parodies often demand
If your copyrighted work is being used by another person or company, or if you are being sued for copyright infringement, contact a copyright infringement lawyer as soon as possible.