Educational Fair Use

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drseti
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Educational Fair Use

Postby drseti » Thu Jan 30, 2020 8:53 pm

Copyright law (17 USC Section 107) has long permitted educators (including flight instructors) to reproduce and freely use copyrighted material "for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research." As those of you who have attended any of my hundreds of free safety seminars over the past couple of decades will be aware, I have long made liberal use of this provision, inserting safety-relevant news photos and articles into my many non-commercial PowerPoint presentations. Unfortunately, I've been embroiled for the past few months in a legal battle with a law firm that refuses to recognize such fair use.

Today, my attorney (who is a fellow pilot, and has attended my online EAA Webinars) fired back with our own lawsuit. I don't know how it will pan out, but here is what he has just posted to his website:

Shaby & Associates Files Lawsuit Against The Associated Press

January 30, 2020

Copyright law ordinarily permits the creator of a work - in this case, photographs of two aviation incidents of nationwide interest - the exclusive right to use their creations. However, first the courts, and now Congress, have carved out a right for others to use copyrighted materials in certain contexts, including “for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research.” 17 U.S.C. § 107.

When multinational news agency The Associated Press enlisted the services of Higbee & Associates to hound a retired college professor teaching free aviation safety seminars as a FAASTeam volunteer, the small one-man operation turned to Shaby & Associates to seek a judicial declaratory judgment that the use of two Associated Press photographs was, in fact, fair.

The lawsuit is AvSport LLC v. The Associated Press , No. 2:20−cv−00871 DSF (JPRx) in the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Mr. Harshman has taken the lead in this litigation.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
fly@AvSport.org
AvSport.org
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Scooper
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Re: Educational Fair Use

Postby Scooper » Thu Jan 30, 2020 11:39 pm

Paul, it's shameful that any copyright holder would sue over non-profit educational fair use of their material.

Good luck with success in your own lawsuit.

EDIT - I read your complaint; Theodore Sell sounds like an ambulance chasing jerk (just my humble opinion).
Stan Cooper (K4DRD)
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designrs
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Re: Educational Fair Use

Postby designrs » Fri Jan 31, 2020 2:10 am

Go get ‘em Paul!
- Richard
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drseti
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Re: Educational Fair Use

Postby drseti » Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:15 am

Scooper wrote:Sell sounds like an ambulance chasing jerk (just my humble opinion).


I have my own opinion about opposing counsel, Stan. I dare not share it publicly while my case is still pending, but I think you can guess...
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
fly@AvSport.org
AvSport.org
facebook.com/SportFlying
SportPilotExaminer.US

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Scooper
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Re: Educational Fair Use

Postby Scooper » Fri Jan 31, 2020 9:49 am

drseti wrote:
Scooper wrote:Sell sounds like an ambulance chasing jerk (just my humble opinion).


I have my own opinion about opposing counsel, Stan. I dare not share it publicly while my case is still pending, but I think you can guess...

I completely understand, Paul. For seven years (2005-2012) I had to keep my mouth shut. Now I'm writing a tell-all book based on court documents.

https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/10-1024.pdf
Stan Cooper (K4DRD)
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drseti
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Re: Educational Fair Use

Postby drseti » Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:48 am

Bummer that you never recovered damages, Stan. But, you fought the good fight, and I'm proud of you. Let me know when your book is available.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
fly@AvSport.org
AvSport.org
facebook.com/SportFlying
SportPilotExaminer.US

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Scooper
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Re: Educational Fair Use

Postby Scooper » Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:05 pm

You'll get an autographed copy. :D
Stan Cooper (K4DRD)
Private Pilot ASEL LSRI
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HornedFrogGrant
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Re: Educational Fair Use

Postby HornedFrogGrant » Thu Mar 05, 2020 11:09 am

Scooper wrote:Paul, it's shameful that any copyright holder would sue over non-profit educational fair use of their material.


An educational program conducted under the auspices of a federal agency, no less.

drseti wrote:Today, my attorney (who is a fellow pilot, and has attended my online EAA Webinars) fired back with our own lawsuit. I don't know how it will pan out...


You'd think the FAA would have an interest in this as well. Perhaps an amicus brief is in order, either by FAA or any number of other interested parties such as AOPA, EAA, NAFI, etc. I'm not sure if amicus briefs are admissible prior to appeal, but worth a shot.
Grant
Sport Pilot - ASEL

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foresterpoole
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Re: Educational Fair Use

Postby foresterpoole » Tue Mar 10, 2020 1:12 pm

This is getting pretty bad when an educator (who is doing the work pro-bono) is dragged into court to defend use of a photograph released into the public domain. While I can understand the premise of copyright, this seems like a stretch considering the exemptions as written for educational purposes. I give lectures on drone safety and operations all the time to schools, trade groups and our company, maybe I should examine the media I use. I'd really want to know who decided to pursue it: I mean I'm assuming your not a millionaire based on your flight school financials and it's a questionable case at best with what I would imagine is a limited damage pool. I have to agree with Scooper, it's most likely a lawyer looking for a quick cash settlement with no interest other than financial gain. It's a shame this thing happens and happens to people with impeccable intentions for the use of the media in question.
Ed


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