The following post comes from Liz Velander, a recent graduate of Scalia Law and a Research Assistant at CPIP.
By Liz Velander
This past Friday, the Ninth Circuit handed down its opinion in Dr. Seuss v. ComicMix, a closely watched transformative fair use case. The decision marks an important milestone in the development of the fair use doctrine, especially as applied to mash-ups—where two or more preexisting works are blended together to create a new work. Read more
The Second Circuit’s recent opinion in Capitol Records v. Vimeo is, to put it mildly, pretty bad. From its convoluted reasoning that copyrights under state law for pre-1972 sound recordings are limited by the DMCA safe harbors, despite the explicit statement in Section 301(c) that “rights or remedies” under state law “shall not be annulled or limited” by the Copyright Act, to its gutting of red flag knowledge by limiting it to the nearly-impossible situation where a service provider actually knows that a specific use of an entire copyrighted work is neither fair nor licensed yet somehow doesn’t also surmise that it’s infringing, it’s hard to see how either result is compelled by the statutes, much less how it was intended by Congress. Read more
The Ninth Circuit’s opinion in Lenz v. Universal is out, and it’s a doozy. The main issue in the case is whether a rightholder has to consider fair use before sending a DMCA takedown notice. Section 512 requires the sender to state that she “has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.” Read more