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What qualifies as "transformative" under the Copyright Fair Use test?

Posted by Steve Vondran | May 03, 2022

Attorney Steve® Copyright Fair Use Lawyer - Transformative explained.  Call us at (877) 276-5084 to discuss fair use opinion letters for creators, or copyright litigation.

transformative art work


If you transform a copyrighted piece of content into SOMETHING NEW you may have a strong argument for "fair use" which, if it applies, you would not be deemed a copyright infringement.  But this is not always an easy analysis.  Here is some information and case law that may help you make that often difficult determination.

Attorney Steve® Tip:  Click here to learn about 22 things you can do to make a third-party clip "transformative" improving your chances of fair use.

Here are some legal cases for you to review:

A “transformative” use is “a copying use that adds something new and important.” See Google, 141 S. Ct. at 1203

Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc., 510 U.S. 569, 579 (1994)).

“There is little transformative about copying the entirety or large portions of a work verbatim.” Nihon Keizai Shimbun, 166 F.3d at 72.

“Excessive copying precludes fair use.” Walt Disney Prods. v. Air Pirates, 581 F.2d 751, 758 (9th Cir. 1978)

About the Author

Steve Vondran

Thank you for viewing our blogs, videos and podcasts. As noted, all information on this website is Attorney Advertising. Decisions to hire an attorney should never be based on advertising alone. Any past results discussed herein do not guarantee or predict any future results. All blogs are written by Steve Vondran, Esq. unless otherwise indicated. Our firm handles a wide variety of intellectual property and entertainment law cases from music and video law, Youtube disputes, DMCA litigation, copyright infringement cases involving software licensing disputes (ex. BSA, SIIA, Siemens, Autodesk, Vero, CNC, VB Conversion and others), torrent internet file-sharing (Strike 3 and Malibu Media), California right of publicity, TV Signal Piracy, and many other types of IP, piracy, technology, and social media disputes. Call us at (877) 276-5084. AZ Bar Lic. #025911 CA. Bar Lic. #232337

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