You are on page 1of 3

Copyright Scenario Katie Hill I. Background Information A.

American Public Library staff members maintain a bulletin board in the children’s area. The library has a complete set of Dr. Seuss books and they are very popular. They decide to use the theme of Dr. Seuss’ birthday for the bulletin board. A staff member with artistic talent draws a large picture of Sam with a green ham and posts it on the bulletin board. B. Title or description of the work(s) to be used: a drawing C. Copyright status of the work(s): the drawing is of a character from a copyright protected book. D. Purpose for the use of the work(s): To promote Dr. Seuss’s Birthday and his literary works. D. Exclusive rights potentially affected: Reproduction and display. II. Fair Use Analysis A. Purpose 1. Favoring Fair Use: Non-commercial educational use in a non-profit institution. News reporting (telling the public it is Dr. Seuss’s birthday)Transformative or Productive use: The drawing is a not meant to replace the original work by Dr. Seuss but to encourage children to pick up the actual work 2. Opposing Fair Use: Entertainment Denying credit to original author unless the artist/librarian gives credit. B. Nature 1. Favoring Fair Use: Published work Important to favored educational objectives 2. Opposing Fair Use: Highly creative work Fiction C. Amount 1. Favoring Fair Use: Small quantity Amount is appropriate for favored educational purpose 2. Opposing Fair Use: Portion used is central to work or “heart of the work”


D. Effect 1. Favoring Fair Use: User owns lawfully acquired or purchased copy of original work Since there was only one copy made there was no significant negative effect on the market or potential market for copyrighted work. However, this is a single case. If this type of advertising or publicizing is used in libraries across the globe, it could have a serious impact. Such posters are available at a reasonably low cost. It would be best for the library to purchase a poster. 2. Opposing Fair Use: Reasonably available licensing mechanism for use of the copyrighted work Affordable permission for using the work III. Summary of Fair Use Analysis (does use as a whole favor or oppose fair use. Why?) Purpose: The libraries ultimate goal in displaying the librarian’s version of the character Sam is to advertise the birthday of Dr. Seuss and perhaps encourage children to read his works. Nature: This is a published work and although it is taken from a work of fiction it still favors fair use. Amount: The librarian’s drawing is only a small portion of the illustrations that are available in the actual book. However, the image of ‘Sam’ is easily recognizable as one of Dr. Seuss’s most well-known characters. Effect: The library lawfully owns a complete set of books by Dr. Seuss from which the librarian copied her drawing from. Also, this one drawing will not affect the market of the copyrighted work. However, it would be possible for the library to purchase posters/drawings/displays that are purchased from the copyright holder. IV. Other applicable information A. Fair use guidelines (not law) a. There are no fair use guidelines that could be applied to this situation. B. Statutory provisions other than fair use a. Section 101: display of a work publicly b. Section 109 (c): authorizes the owner of a particular lawfully made copy to display the copy publicly at the place where the copy is located. This would include the book and book jacket. C. Legal decisions a. Fairey v. The Associated Press, 09-cv-01123, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan). i. This case is a very similar situation and could be used to help decide whether this situation falls under fair use or not. b. Rogers v. Koons 960 F.2d 301 (2d Cir. 1992). i. This case is also similar and can be used as a resource.


V. Overall Summary – is this likely to be a legal use of the work. Why? I would feel comfortable allowing my librarian to draw and post a picture of Sam on a bulletin board. From the above mentioned reasons it seems clear that this situation falls under Fair Use. VI. Alternatives for accomplishing the purpose of the use I would feel more comfortable with this situation if the librarian/artist were to give credit to Dr. Seuss somewhere on the bulletin board. As mentioned above, there are posters are available for purchase. I would suggest that a copyright protected poster of the character is displayed instead. The library also has the option to use the book jacket as a way to advertise.