Legal Question in Intellectual Property in Missouri

I was thinking of starting up a blog (similar to Cake Wrecks, which shows images of horribly done professional cakes, and Photoshop Disasters, which shows images of goofed up commercial photoshop jobs) that showed images of disaster runway fashions. I was wondering if it would be illegal to do so. Neither Cake Wrecks nor Photoshop Disasters give credit to the creator of the cake or ad, but in the case of runway pictures, would that be required? If they're just floating around the internet? Could I get sued for sarcastic comments posted along with the images?

Asked on 1/01/10, 11:00 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Bruce Burdick Burdick Law Firm

Well, you have two questions in one. Technically permission would be required since the runway pictures are copyrighted (automatically by law) although there is an exception (called "fair use") for satirical use which might apply if that is your intent. Best best is to give credit and not ask for permission and to put a notice on your site that the pictures are used for satirical purposes under the "fair use" doctrine and that any copyright owner objecting to fair use should let you know their objection. Could you get sued? Of course, anyone can sue for anything if they want to spend the money to hire an attorney and can find one willing to take the money and do the work. Could they win, not likely, if you persist and have the money to defend yourself. If you do get sued, typically you would just "cave" and remove that photo rather than fight an expensive battle legally or put a special disclaimer by that photo to pacify the objector. If you need more specific advice please call me and I can help. If you have been sued call quickly as a quick response is usually important to getting best results in these situations.

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Answered on 1/12/10, 12:53 pm

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