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New case tests fair use in controversial anti-gay political ads

 

by Barry Werbin

A new copyright infringement action was just filed in Denver by a male gay couple, Brian Edwards and Tom Privitere, whose engagement photo depicting them kissing each other was used w/o permission in anti-gay ads by the "Public Advocate of the United States," an organization characterized by the Southern Poverty Law Center (which is representing the couple and photographer) as a hate group. The photo was posted to a blog by the couple two years ago, but was recently copied and digitally altered to change the background by the defendant organization, which used it a smear ad campaign against Republican former-state Sen. Jean White, who had supported recent legislation to legalize gay civil unions in the state.

Here the original and the modified photos in issue:

20121017img1

20121017img2 20121017img3

Fair use? 

 

Good reading on the case:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/26/engagement-photo-lawsuit-bryan-edwards-tom-privitere_n_1917246.html

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120928/01061220536/why-its-tempting-troubling-to-use-copyright-as-stand-moral-rights.shtml