Jenner & Block

"Copyright Laws Apply to Lawmakers (and Would-Be Lawmakers) Too," Los Angeles Daily Journal

Partner Steven B. Fabrizio and Associate Jennifer V. Yeh authored “Copyright Laws Apply to Lawmakers (and Would-Be Lawmakers) Too,” the May article for the Creative Content practice’s monthly “Content Matters” column, which appears in the Los Angeles Daily Journal and the San Francisco Daily Journal.  In this month’s article, the authors discuss the unauthorized use of popular copyrighted music, movie and other media clips by political candidates in campaign advertisements.  Mr. Fabrizio and Ms. Yeh analyze the fair use doctrine, 17 U.S.C. Section 107, a defense commonly asserted by candidates who use copyrighted material without seeking permission, and recent developments on this issue.  The authors caution that candidates are violating copyright laws when they exploit the creative property of others for their own political and financial gain, and that the “fair use” defense generally does not apply.