Monday, August 10, 2009

Copyright, Trademarks & 'Fair Use' Eastern Pa. case

A U.S. District Court for Eastern Pennsylvania decision last week made some "important new law and set a few significant precedents in the area of copyrights and trademarks that will help to define the doctrine of 'fair use' for years to come," a article said this morning.

The case, Warren Publishing Co. v. Spurlock, centered around claims that the 2005 book, “Famous Monster Movie Art of Basil Gogos" violated copyrights & trademarks owned by Warren Publishing.

U.S. District Judge Michael M. Baylson found that "there was a 'transformative nature' to the use of Gogos' paintings in the book because it was designed to be a biography and retrospective of an artist who had created dozens of memorable images of Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, the Creature from the Black Lagoon and other staples of classic monster movies," the article said.

"The fact that the Gogos book is inherently biographical," Judge Baylson wrote, "renders it so fundamentally transformative in nature, coupled with the fact that Spurlock utilized such a quantitatively and qualitatively minor portion of the magazines, requires this court to conclude that Spurlock's use is fair use and to grant Spurlock's motion for summary judgment on the copyright claims."

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