U.S. backs photographer at Supreme Court in Andy Warhol copyright battle — Briefs supporting the photographer in the fair use case were due this past Monday with the Court, and the US Solicitor General and US Copyright Office joined in. Reuters reporter Blake Brittain writes, “The brief focused on the foundation’s specific act of alleged infringement — a 2016 license to Conde Nast. The government said the license ‘served the same purpose — depicting Prince in an article about him published by a popular magazine — for which Goldsmith’s photographs have frequently been used.’ The government also said finding that Warhol’s supposed new meaning transformed Goldsmith’s photograph would ‘dramatically expand copyists’ ability to appropriate existing works.'”
Doc Filmmakers Brief in AWF v. Goldsmith is Misguided — Speaking of the Warhol case, David Newhoff takes a closer look at a brief filed earlier this summer arguing the opposing view. “If the filmmakers would have the Court believe that documentarians have thus far relied on the fair use rationale as applied by the district court in this case, history does not support this claim. On the contrary, if the Court were to agree with AWF’s reasoning as presented, it would create a novel presumption of certainty by broadening fair use to encompass almost any use that adds ‘something’ to the world.”
Amici Warn of Internet Archive’s Dangerous “Lending” Practice — Kevin Madigan discusses the latest in the copyright infringement case against Internet Archive’s unauthorized reproduction and distribution of books. “Most recently, briefs were filed by creator organizations, copyright scholars, international rightsholder groups, and the Copyright Alliance in support of the plaintiff publishers’ motion for summary judgement. And while the briefs vary in focus, they share an underlying message: the Internet Archive’s practices are clearly infringing, do not qualify as fair use, and would devastate creators and creative industries if sanctioned by the court.”
Zillow Only Wants to Be Fined Once for 2,700 Photo Copyright Infringements — A good reminder that under the US Copyright Act, a copyright owner can only receive one award of statutory damages per work, and thus there’s a big difference between whether at issue is many individual works, or one compilation of those works. Here, the difference is dramatic.
‘Stripped Of Poetic License’: RIAA Pushes California Lawmakers to Pass Rap Lyrics Law — “‘Creative expression’s greatest capacity is to lift us out of the real world and to present us with the unexpected, the unlikely, and the unthinkable,’ Glazer said. ‘Hyperbole and fantastical imagery are customary, and often necessary, elements of that creative expression.  Yet, when rap and hip hop artists adhere to this time-honored tradition of make-believe, their lyrics are too often – and unfairly – taken literally, stripped of the poetic license afforded other genres,’ he wrote. ‘While such mischaracterization may be uneventful in everyday music consumption, its application in criminal proceedings can skew the truth and destroy artists’ lives.'”