Pixilated version of famous Miles Davis image

by Walter Olson on June 25, 2011

Oh, what an expensive bet on “fair use” that idea for album art turned out to be [Andy Baio, waxy.org via @petewarden]


1 Bumper 06.25.11 at 12:46 pm

I believe that Mr. Baio is incorrect in his interpretation of fair use. The pixelated version is immediately recognizable as being from the original AND it was used for the same purpose, an album cover.

My best analogy would be if I took Walter Olson’s latest book, Schools For Misrule, scanned it and ran it through a word processor to change all the capital letters to lower case and then reprinted it as fair use. Yes, it would “sort of” be different, but the meaning of the words would, for all practical purposes, be indistinguishable from the original. And as a nice a guy as he is, WO just might get POed with the results.

2 John Burgess 06.26.11 at 8:49 am

Answering Baio’s question at the link, I’d draw the ‘fair use’ line at the ninth image (reading left-right and down). That is sufficient transformation to avoid essentially duplicating the original.

3 Amy Alkon 06.26.11 at 10:39 am

I’m frequently amazed by bloggers, including legal bloggers, who post copyrighted images that do not belong to them. I took Jonathan Turley to task for that when he posted a Gary Larson cartoon to illustrate a post. I can’t find that post now — it was maybe from a few months ago, but he’s a blogger whose content I like who dismays me by posting cartoons and news photographs — copyrighted material — and I’m guessing he isn’t writing checks to the photographers and/or copyright holders. Bizarrely, his was named the best blog in “Legal Theory.” I guess he skipped copyright law in college. Oh, wait — he’s a law prof.

4 DensityDuck 06.28.11 at 1:39 pm

It’s okay, he put “image copyright Gary Larson” at the bottom!

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