Transformative Purposes and Derivative Works


General Photography

Hardly a day goes by now without yet another lawsuit about some copyright violation. Under US Copyright law, the crux always is “fair use”: Do we have a case of fair use or not? Given the way the law is phrased, this is not a trivial question. It gets particularly iffy once the aspect of “transformation” is brought up. How does that work? What does and what does not constitute a valid transformation as far as the law is concerned? This recent post over at Copyhype has an extended section about just that, using a recent case as an example. It also provides a link to a paper entitled Making Sense of Fair Use by UCLA law professor Neil W. Netanel. Netanel’s paper is long and very detailed, and anyone interested in fair use and in how fair use has been treated in the courts so far might want to take a look at it. It’s an incredible resource, yet a tough read.