Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A Victory For Fair Use: The Trademark Dilution Revision Act of 2006

Heidi Cody, "American Alphabet" (2000)

The Art Law Blog reports today on the fate of the Trademark Dilution Revision Act of 2006, which maintains fair use provisions in a wide variety of contexts. Art law whiz Donn Zaretsky reports:
There had been some concerns expressed about the possible narrowing, or even elimination, of fair use defenses in earlier drafts of the bill, but the final version broadly excludes from liability "any fair use, including a nominative or descriptive fair use ... other than as a designation of source for the person's own goods or services," including use in "identifying and parodying, criticizing, or commenting upon the famous mark owner or the goods or services of the famous mark owner."
You can read more about it on his great blog.

The image above is a celebratory posting of Heidi Cody's "American Alphabet," an example of the kind of work that might not be legal under a stricter trademark law. Kids found almost all of these brands instantly recognizable from their selected letters. You can see a lot more art that subverts trademarks to criticize and satirize at the excellent Illegal Art site, another side project of none other than Stay Free! magazine.

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