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P2P Copyright Network Training Dashboard: Copyright Exceptions & Fair Use

P2P Network Training Dashboard

Copyright Exceptions & Fair Use: Syllabus

Syllabus: Copyright Exceptions and Fair Use  * The place of copyright exceptions  o A safety valve  * Fair use: the four factors  o Transformational fair use  o Contracts and fair use

Video: Bill Graham Archives v. Dorling Kindersley

Video: Campbell v. Acuff-Rose

Useful Websites

useful websites

Color this area of the law grey: Read THIS!

Ohio State Library’s page on “Verse” by Ann Hamilton

US Copyright Office Fair Use Case Index

Fair Use Toolbox

Fair Use Case Law: Click the Arrow to Find A Relevant Case

fair use: case finder

Universal v. Sony Corp (1984) —The Betamax case:

  • Was Sony abetting copyright infringement by selling video cassette (then called video tape) recorders to the public?
  • Public was using them to record TV shows and fast forward through commercials. Also used to copy legally obtained movies
  • Supreme Court held that time-shifting was fair use
  • The Betamax had substantial non-infringing uses
  • Upshot: the video market became very important to the movie studios 

Monster Communications v. Turner Broadcasting (1996)

  • 41 seconds of a boxing match film used in a biography of Muhammad Ali
  • Held—fair use. Amount taken was small and it was for informational purposes

National Center for Jewish Film v. Riverside Films (2012)

  • Documentary used clips belonging to the Center in a film about author Sholem Aleichem. Amount taken from each film was less than 2%
  • Court held that the use was fair use—small amount taken, transformative purpose
  • Plus it wasn’t clear that the films were still in copyright

Northland Family Planning v. Center for Bioethical Reform (2012)

  • Two organizations, one pro-choice, one pro-life, prepared opposing films.
  • Defendants’ film used footage from plaintiffs film to make the opposite point
  • Court found use was fair even though a large amount was used b/c it was necessary for criticism of the other work and position
  • Court also found transformative fair use.

Faulkner Literary Rights v. Sony (2013) Midnight in Paris case

  • Main character paraphrases Faulkner and says "The past is not dead. Actually, it's not even past.”
  • Faulkner’s estate sued
  • Judge found transformative fair use and no market harm to Faulkner’s works

Sofa Entertainment v. Dodger (2013)

  • Seven-second clip from the Ed Sullivan TV show used in the movie Jersey Boys Judge found
  • Transformative—used to mark a moment in the story, not just for entertainment
  • Amount used was very small and didn’t harm the market

Roy Export Co. v. Columbia Broadcasting (1982)

  • TV program used less than a minute and a half from a 72- minute Charlie Chaplin film
  • Program was used to comment on Chaplin’s death.
  • Court found infringement b/c TV program used the “heart of the work”
  • Amount was small, but substantial.
  • Would the result be different now with the development of the doctrine of transformative fair use? 

Los Angeles News Service v. KCAL-TV (1997)

  • In 1992, a Los Angeles mob beat a man named Reginald Denny during a race riot, and a bystander filmed the attack.
  • TV station used 30 seconds of the 4-minute video
  • Court found copyright infringement—not fair use—b/c defendant took the heart of the work and impeded the creator’s ability to make money from the video.


  • Media distributor sued UCLA for digitizing and streaming educational films without permission
  • Case ultimately dismissed b/c plaintiffs didn’t have standing— the legal right to bring the lawsuit
  • Judge, in one of the dismissals, makes a fair use analysis and finds it arguable
  • She did point out that market harm was no greater with streaming video than it was if showing a movie in class
  • This case proved to be an interesting footnote more than anything else