VLA acts as a powerful advocate on behalf of the arts community, submitting amicus briefs in court proceedings and making recommendations on pending legislation affecting artists and ACOs. For example, VLA submitted an amicus brief in the appeal of Brammer v. Violent Hues Productions, seeking to overturn a lower court’s decision that the company’s undisputed use of Mr. Brammer’s photograph was a fair use under the Copyright Act. The decision has been widely criticized as wrong on all of the fair use factors, which were all found in favor of the company. VLA’s advocacy on behalf of artists was successful, with the Appeals court wholly rejecting the lower court analysis on the fair use factors. VLA also recently joined an amicus brief Pulphus v. Ayers, in support of a high school-aged artist whose artwork was wrongly removed from the U.S. Capitol Building after six months because of its subject matter. In both cases, VLA added its voice to those seeking to vindicate the rights of artists.
VLA has also submitted amicus briefs in the matters of Google v. Garcia and Kirtsaeng v. Wiley addressing the interpretation and application of the Copyright Act. The Garcia matter was before the 9th Circuit Court Appeals, and addressed the copyright ownership rights in film vis a vis one of its actors. The Kirtsaeng matter was before the United States Supreme Court and involved the attorney fee-shifting statute of the Copyright Act. The court considered and ultimately ruled in line with the positions VLA put forth.
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