4 Factors to determine fair use of a copyrighted work

copyrightIn his webinar, “Fair Use or Infringement in 2018, and Other Current Copyright Issues”, Ken Norwick, author of The Legal Guide for Writers, Artists, and Other Creative People reminded participants that the purpose of copyright is “to give creators an incentive to create”.

The U.S. Constitution states that the purpose of copyright is “to promote the progress of science and useful arts”, said Norwick. However, in order to progress, he said, there must be a level of fair use of the creations that came before. Four factors exist in determining whether a use is qualified as fair use and thus not an infringement on copyright, said Norwick. They are: [Read more…]

Supreme Court rules in favor of plaintiff in copyright infringement case

On May 19, the US Supreme Court decided in favor of Paula Petrella in the copyright infringement case Petrella v Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc., stating that laches “cannot be invoked as a bar to Petrella’s pursuit of a claim for damages brought within…the three-year window.”

(Laches means that a legal right or claim will not be enforced if a long delay in asserting the right or claim has hurt the opposing party as a sort of “legal ambush.”)

“This Supreme Court decision resolves an issue that had been the subject of debate for decades and removes once and for all one of the defenses that had historically been raised to defeat copyright infringement claims,” said Stephen Gillen, an attorney with Wood Herron & Evans LLP. “Authors are now in a slightly better position when it comes to policing the unauthorized use of their copyrighted works.”

Read the court’s full opinion.