To infringe © or not to infringe © …>

Graphic Advocates iconMy graphic ‘art’ such as it is generally relies on parody and plenty of Photoshop® and copying. The correct technical term is appropriation, I think. I’m on sound ground as far as art history goes but am I and by extension anyone who uses my art liable for trial under breach of copyright?

We think not. Here is what I have appropriated from Wikipedia

Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. 107

§ 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include—
(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature (ours is not) or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
(2) the nature of the copyrighted work; (This is a political and not an artistic statement by it’s nature open to dispute)
(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. (There is no market. Both the Destroy Israel Lobby and we distribute this free).
The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors

To be considered parody, the work must “reasonably be perceived as commenting on the original or criticizing it, to some degree” (U.S. Supreme Court, Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music).

We have a good but not airtight case that what we do is legitimate parody, not commercial and  free speech. Whether that would apply in other jurisdictions and with other judges is a lottery (Judge Cohen may be more favourable to our case than Judge Mohammed. Fortunately for us there are many more Jews than Muslims on the judiciary).

In practical terms what we do is extremely unlikely to go to court but if the Destroy Israel Lobby thinks they have a case, bring it on!

About David Guy

B.A./B.C.A. (Communication and Media Arts) University of Wollongong, AUSTRALIA M.A. in Government (Diplomacy and Conflict Studies) Inter Disciplinary Center, Herzliya, ISRAEL Twitter @5MFI
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