Pushing Boundaries - Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal
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Pushing Boundaries

Pushing Boundaries

The district court for the Western District of Wisconsin has continued to push the boundaries of the “transformative use” doctrine in the ongoing debate on fair use in visual art works.  The court held that unapproved use of a photograph of Paul Soglin, Mayor of Madison, WI by an apparel company was not a copyright infringement.  The defendants used the picture on shirts intended to criticize Soglin’s opposition to a controversial annual block party/student protest movement that began on a college campus. Ultimately, the court determined that, even though the shirts were commercial products and did not comment on the photograph itself, the modified image was “transformative” and fair because it was used with the intent to make a political statement.

Sarah Baldwin