Focal in the News
Is Gmail Wiretapping? Federal Court Considers how Internet Companies can Read our Email - SingularityHUB (October 8, 2013)
CAN SPAM Issues in Zoobuh V. Better Broadcasting - CircleID (June 11, 2013)
Typosquatting Claims Against Security Researcher Are Legally Complicated – Gioconda v. Kenzie - CircleID (April 29, 2013)
New York Times Editor to take 75,000 Twitter Followers out the Door with him – paidContent (January 24, 2013)
Media Firm says ‘Damn You’ after paying too much for Auto Correct site – paidContent (January 8, 2013)
(View other “News” mentions here.)
Tip of the Month
Using Copyrighted Material without Permission:
Fair Use is a doctrine that permits limited use of a copyrighted material without obtaining permission for its use from the holder of the copyright. In determining whether the use of a copyrighted work is a fair use, the factors to be considered by a court (under 17 U.S.C. Section 107) are:
1. The purpose and character of the use. When material is used for commentary and criticism, news reporting, research, teaching, search engines, and parodies, this weighs toward fair use. Additionally, when the work is transformed and changed for a new utility, this is likely fair use. However, when the use is for profit, entertainment, commercial activity, or includes bad faith behavior, a court will likely determine that the use is not fair use.
2. The nature of the copyrighted work. Works that are published, factual, or important to favored educational objectives generally favor fair use. Those that are highly creative (art, music, film), fictional, or unpublished generally oppose a finding of fair use.
3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole. When the portion of the copyrighted work is not central or significant to the entire work, or the amount is appropriate for favored educational purpose, this weighs toward fair use. When a large portion, the whole work, or the “heart” of the work is used, this weighs against fair use.
4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. When the use has no significant effect on the market or potential market for the actual copyrighted use, or the user has lawfully acquired a copy of the original work, this weighs toward a finding of fair use. When the use could replace the sale of the copyrighted work, significantly impairs the market or potential market for the copyrighted work, is accessible on the web or other public forum, or made available for repeated or long term use, this opposes a finding of fair use.
These factors are only guidelines, and courts are free to adapt to particular situations on a case by case basis. In addition, courts are free to consider other factors, such as a defendant’s inequitable conduct or bad faith. Judges and juries have a great deal of freedom when making a fair use determination, so the outcome may be difficult to predict.
In the Community
ACLU of Washington’s High School Student Conference on Civil Liberties: Focal was happy to help out by presenting in the ACLU of Washington’s high school student conference on civil liberties.
University of Washington’s Entrepreneurial Law Clinic (ELC): Focal PLLC is proud to be participating in the University of Washington’s Entrepreneurial Law Clinic (ELC). You can find more information about the ELC here.
Hoang v. IMDb: Venkat attended and covered (for The Hollywood Reporter’s “THR, Esq.” blog) the trial resolving claims asserted by an actress against IMDb: “Actress Suing IMDb Takes the Witness Stand“; and “Actress Suing IMDb Faces Tough Questions on Second Day of Trial.”