UN Special Rapporteur: Freedom of expression & Copyright

By |2020-01-03T15:06:07-05:00April 10th, 2015|Blog|

At the 28th Session of the Human Rights Council in March 2015, Ms. Farida Shaheed, the UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, presented her report on copyright laws and policies and their effect on artistic freedom. The report emphasizes the need to balance intellectual property rights with the need to empower creativity. It supports copyright exceptions and limitations that enable caricature, parody, pastiche and appropriation art, which all borrow recognizably from prior works in order [...]

Teens Win Censorship Battle Against Sony Over “Read It” Video

By |2020-01-03T13:49:41-05:00November 29th, 2012|Blog|

Lansdowne public librarian Abbe Klebanoff came to us last week, dismayed over Sony's censorship of a video she and her students had made to encourage teens to read. The video takes Michael Jackson's "Beat It" and transformed the song into "Read It", with a dance to boot. When the kids tried to upload the video to YouTube, Sony sent them [...]

Small-Town Librarian Takes On Sony–and Wins

By |2019-03-15T17:22:43-04:00November 28th, 2012|Blog|

Don’t mess with Abbe Klebanoff, the head of public services for Pennsylvania’s Lansdowne Public Library. She encouraged teens to create a music video called "Read It" to the music of Michael Jackson's song, "Beat It," and posted it on YouTube. What followed was predictable—Sony objected and took it down, claiming copyright infringement. The passionate Klebanoff, who spent weeks helping the teens [...]

Dramatists Guild Backs David Adjmi Against Copyright Claims

By |2022-12-09T14:16:15-05:00July 25th, 2012|Incidents|

Copyright claims and creative freedom clash once again in the case of 3C, a recent play by David Adjmi. The play is a parody of the 1970s sitcom Three’s Company, and, as such, should constitute fair use. Nevertheless, the owners of Three's Company sent Adjmi a letter claiming copyright infringement and demanding that Adjmi cease further performances of the play anywhere.

The Recent Richard Prince Decision Tips the Scales Towards Copyright Owners

By |2020-01-03T13:40:37-05:00June 6th, 2011|Blog|

While paying lip service to the fact that fair use is the way in which the inherent tensions between the First Amendment and copyright law may be resolved, Judge Batts’s recent decision for the Southern District of New York in Cariou v. Prince preserved fair use protection for only those works that comment on or criticize the original copyrighted [...]

Blanche DuBois Meets the Copyright Cops

By |2017-10-12T14:08:56-04:00September 22nd, 2008|FEPP Articles|

Blanche DuBois, the fragile, self-deluding southern belle in Tennessee Williams’s 1947 play, “A Streetcar Named Desire,” is one of the great tragic characters in American literature. But who owns Blanche, and can the holder of the copyright in “Streetcar” stop a creative artist from impersonating her, as the author and performer Mark Sam Rosenthal does in his recent performance piece, [...]

REPORT: Intellectual Property and Free Speech in the Online World: A Public Policy Report

By |2017-12-05T12:21:28-05:00February 14th, 2007|FEPP Articles|

The Free Expression Policy Project undertook a survey of 25 online service providers to learn how they handle notices asking them to remove material that the sender alleges violates her copyright or trademark rights. These notices typically take the form of either “cease and desist” letters or takedown notices sent in accordance with § 512 of the Copyright Act. We wanted to learn whether service providers, including educational institutions, consider their users’ free speech interests in the course of responding to copyright and trademark owners’ complaints; and if so, how they act on those considerations. We also wanted to know how well the takedown process is working for service providers, for users, and for copyright owners.

Will Fair Use Survive? Free Expression in the Age of Copyright Control – Intro

By |2020-01-03T15:47:35-05:00December 1st, 2005|FEPP Articles|

Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law Free Expression Policy Project December 2005   Are increasingly heavy assertions of control by copyright and trademark owners smothering fair use and free expression? The product of more than a year of research, Will Fair Use Survive? paints a striking picture of an intellectual property system that is perilously out of balance. Read [...]

Appeals Court Reaffirms Its Tone-Deaf Approach to Music Sampling

By |2017-10-12T14:00:15-04:00June 3rd, 2005|FEPP Articles|

Ignoring the critical balance between creativity and property rights that is essential to a healthy copyright system, a 3-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit today reaffimed the maverick position that it first announced last year - that the well-accepted "de minimis" rule in copyright law does not apply to sound recordings. Under the court's [...]

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