“Elvis Presley a rock and roll singer became an American icon during a career that spanned over 20 years. He died at age 42. Many individuals and companies own copyrights to Presley’s songs, lyrics, photographs, movies, and appearances on TV shows. Millions of dollars of Presley’s copyrighted materials are sold or licensed annually.
Passport Video produced a video documentary titled The Definitive Elvis comprising sixteen one hour episodes. The producers interviewed more than 200 individuals from all aspects of Elvis’ life. Passport sold the videos commercially for a profit. Approximately 3%-10% of the videos were comprised of copyrighted material. Passport did not receive permission for the use of the copyrighted materials. Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc and other copyright holders sued Passport for the unauthorized use of the copyrighted material.
The District Court ruled in favor of the copyright holders.
Did Passport act ethically in this case? Had the materials Passport used become fair use or was this a case of copyright infringement? Make sure to analyze and provide legal reasoning for your conclusion. Can Passport claim that their use of the materials was “Fair Use?” Why or why not?
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