The skinny on fair use

Originally posted 2009-10-06 22:37:52. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

How much dumb can possibly be fit into a size two?  Walter Olson rounds it up:

Ralph Lauren lawyers: don’t you dare reproduce our skinny-model photo in the course of criticizing our use of skinny models [BoingBoing]

Ralph Lauren Model

Ralph Lauren Model

With photoshop, evidently, quite a bit!  Here’s an excerpt from the original Boing Boing post, by Cory Doctorow:

Last month, Xeni blogged about the photoshop disaster that is this Ralph Lauren advertisement, in which a model’s proportions appear to have been altered to give her an impossibly skinny body (“Dude, her head’s bigger than her pelvis”). Naturally, Xeni reproduced the ad in question. This is classic fair use: a reproduction “for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting,” etc. . . .

As Wendy Seltzer from the Chilling Effects project said, “Sounds like a pretty solid fair use case to me. If criticism diminishes its effectiveness, that’s different from the market substitution copyright protects against. And I’ve rarely seen a thinner DMCA form-letter.”

Yeah, but a thinner cover girl you’re not going to see either.  I fear no C&D letter but don’t do model pictures at LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION®; you can check it at Doctorow’s post (or just click Olive Oyl above).  Do not adjust your sets:  That picture is for “real.”

Rooby Lifshitz is selling a bizarre concept of attractive, to say the least — as is, in its own inimitable (which is to say, similar gag-reflex-inducing) way, Greenberg Traurig.  Both are bad to the bone.

UPDATE:  The latest from Marty; and now Instanpundit has picked up the story and even the ABA Journal itself.

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Author:Ron Coleman

I write this blog.

12 Responses to “The skinny on fair use”

  1. tim maguire
    October 12, 2010 at 12:33 pm #

    I wonder what Google’s position on this is?

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Ron Coleman - October 6, 2009

    @overlawyered Thanks for the heads up, Walter. Now I'm also … "bad to the bone": http://bit.ly/sf0Kv at LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION®

  2. Ron Coleman - October 6, 2009

    @overlawyered Thanks for the heads up, Walter. Now I’m also … “bad to the bone”: http://bit.ly/sf0Kv at LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION®

  3. Ron Coleman - October 6, 2009

    @overlawyered Thanks for the heads up, Walter. Now I’m also … "bad to the bone": http://bit.ly/sf0Kv at LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION®

  4. Dana Newman - October 7, 2009

    The skinny on fair use: http://bit.ly/sf0Kv

  5. October 6 roundup - October 7, 2009

    [...] skinny-model photo in the course of criticizing our use of skinny models [BoingBoing; and welcome Ron Coleman, Popehat readers] Copyright expert/author Bill Patry is guestblogging at Volokh Conspiracy [intro, [...]

  6. Ron Coleman - October 8, 2009

    LIKELY / CONFUSION The skinny on fair use: How much dumb can possibly be fit into a size two?.. http://bit.ly/2pGnwU

  7. GoetzFitzpatrick LLP - October 8, 2009

    RT @roncoleman The skinny on fair use: How much dumb can possibly be fit into a size two?.. http://bit.ly/2pGnwU

  8. Tim Baran - October 9, 2009

    RT @DanaNewman The skinny on fair use: http://bit.ly/sf0Kv

  9. Justin Call - October 9, 2009

    Did Ralph Lauren lawyer's read the copyright act? Apparently not. RT @uMCLE: RT @DanaNewman The skinny on fair use: http://bit.ly/sf0Kv

  10. revolucion0 - October 9, 2009

    and #ff! RT@uMCLE @DanaNewman The skinny on fair use: http://bit.ly/sf0Kv

  11. MarcNash - October 9, 2009

    The skinny, see that's gr8 idiom, UK sags by cf RT @revolucion0: and #ff! RT@uMCLE @DanaNewman The skinny on fair use: http://bit.ly/sf0Kv

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