June 29, 2004

Fair Use Takes A Point [10:49 am]

Sadly, though, chilling effects still seem to have the upper hand….. Judge Says Artist Can Make Fun of Barbie (see also Mattel v. Walking Mountain

Seven years ago when Tom Forsythe, an artist and photographer, was searching for a subject for a new project, he settled on Barbie, ultimately producing a series of 78 photographic images of the wildly famous doll showing her nude, and sometimes posed provocatively, in or around various household appliances.

[...] Mr. Forsythe developed a theme that he called “Barbie’s power as a beauty myth.” He displayed his photographs at art fairs in Utah and Kansas City, generating a few thousand dollars in sales but otherwise attracting little notice.

But his work drew the attention of Mattel Inc., which has manufactured the Barbie doll since 1959. In the summer of 1999, Mattel sued Mr. Forsythe for copyright and trademark infringement.

After a lengthy legal tussle, which included a series of appeals, a federal judge late last week instructed Mattel to pay Mr. Forsythe legal fees of more than $1.8 million.

Copyright: Mattel Spanked for Bringing Objectively Meritless Suit Against Artist and More on Barbie’s battles…

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