Eliminating fear and loathing of fair use

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Fair use exists to allow scholars, educators, researchers, and more to use copyrighted works without permission or paying royalties.

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Moving the lines between copyright and fair use


Image by Richard Prince from “Canal Zone” series

Last month Richard Prince made history when the court ruling against him for copyright infringement against him was overturned.

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Do We Need a Copyright & Fair Use Best Practices Document?

While issues about copyright and fair use are not new, our feelings about them may never have been more divisive than they are today. It’s also highly unlikely that in today’s work environment, graphic designers won’t be faced with these issues on a daily basis.

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Was Shepard Fairey’s use fair?

Los Angeles street artist Shepard Fairey poses in front of the Barack Obama Hope artwork he designed in this 2009 photo. (Damian Dovarganes, Associated Press / September 8, 2012)

Last week Shepard Fairey was sentenced to two years probation and a $25,000 fine for tampering with evidence in his copyright battle with the Associated Press. Some, including prosecutor Daniel Levy, felt Fairey should have served jail time. Levy contends, “A sentence without any term of imprisonment sends a terrible message to those who might commit the same sort of criminal conduct.”

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Is “Tomoko Is Bathed by Her Mother” fair use?

Image from “Minamata” Series, by Aileen Mioko Smith, co-authored with W. Eugene Smith

The difference between fair use and matters of integrity is not always crystal clear. Those involved in visual communication are often called upon to decide which takes precedence.

One of the most powerful images of the twentieth century is W. Eugene Smith’s photo “Tomoko Is Bathed by Her Mother.” The image shows a child with a congenital disease caused by mercury pollution in Minamata, Japan.

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