Mattel, Inc. v. Walking Mountain Productions

353 F.3d 792 (2003)

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Mattel, Inc. v. Walking Mountain Productions

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
353 F.3d 792 (2003)

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Facts

Thomas Forsythe (defendant) was a photographer who produced photographs with social and political implications. Forsythe created a series of photographs entitled “Food Chain Barbie” that depicted Mattel, Inc.’s (plaintiff) Barbie doll in absurd and often sexualized positions posed with various kitchen appliances. Forsythe described the message behind his photographic series as an attempt to critique the objectification of women associated with Barbie. Forsythe showcased and promoted his photographic series with limited market success. Mattel filed suit against Forsythe for copyright infringement and other causes of action. The district court ruled in Forsythe’s favor after finding that his photographic series featuring Mattel’s Barbie doll were parodies entitled to the fair-use defense. Mattel appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Pregerson, J.)

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