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Kienitz v. Sconnie Nation LLC
United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
766 F.3d 756 (2014)
Michael Kienitz (plaintiff) owned the copyright to a photograph of Madison, Wisconsin Mayor Paul Soglin. Sconnie Nation LLC (defendant) reproduced aspects of the photograph on a small batch of t-shirts and sold them in connection with a local political event. The design that appeared on the t-shirts was a posterized version of the photograph with the background removed and the mayor’s face turned lime green and surrounded by the phrase “Sorry for Partying” in multicolored writing. Kienitz filed suit, claiming that Sconnie Nation’s unauthorized use of the photograph infringed his copyright. Kienitz appealed the lower court’s decision that Sconnie Nation had made a fair use of the photograph.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Easterbrook, J.)
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