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Film Festival Website’s Copying of D.C. Photo Wasn’t Fair Use (1)

April 26, 2019, 2:18 PMUpdated: April 26, 2019, 9:01 PM

A federal appeals court reversed a fair use copyright decision that had rankled photography and copyright law groups.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that Violent Hues Productions LLC infringed photographer Russell Brammer’s copyright on a photo of Washington’s Adams Morgan neighborhood.

Posting a cropped version of the photo on the Northern Virginia International Film Festival website wasn’t transformative because it didn’t give the photo a new “expression, meaning, or message,” the court said in undoing a
lower court ruling that copyright advocates said distorted the law and validated online theft of photography.

Eleven organizations, including...

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