7.3 Copyright When Spiro Agnew resigned as vice president of the United States, President Richard M. Nixon appointed Gerald R. Ford as vice president. Amid growing controversy surrounding the Watergate scandal, President Nixon resigned, and Vice President Ford acceded to the presidency. As president, Ford pardoned Nixon for any wrongdoing regarding the Watergate affair and related matters. Ford served as president until he was defeated by Jimmy Carter in the presidential election. Ford entered into a contract with Harper & Row Publishers, Inc., to publish his memoirs in book form. The memoirs were to contain significant unpublished materials concerning the Watergate affair and Ford’s personal reflections on that time in history. The publisher instituted security measures to protect the confidentiality of the manuscript. Several weeks before the book was to be released, an unidentified person secretly brought a copy of the manuscript to Victor Navasky, editor of The Nation, a weekly political commentary magazine. Navasky, knowing that his possession of the purloined manuscript was not authorized, produced a 2,250-word piece titled “The Ford Memoirs” and published it in an issue of The Nation. Verbatim quotes of between three hundred and four hundred words from Ford’s manuscript, including some of the most important parts, appeared in the article. Harper & Row sued the publishers of The Nation for copyright infringement. Who wins? Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc. v. Nation Enterprises, 471 U.S. 539, 105 S.Ct. 2218, 85 L.Ed.2d 588, Web 1985 U.S. Lexis 17 (Supreme Court of the United States)
-7.5 Generic Name The Miller Brewing Company, a national brewer, produces a reduced-calorie beer called “Miller Lite.” Miller began selling beer under this name and spent millions of dollars promoting the Miller Lite brand name on television, in print, and via other forms of advertising. Falstaff Brewing Corporation had brewed and distributed a reduced-calorie beer called “Falstaff Lite.” Miller brought suit under the Lanham Act, seeking an injunction to prevent Falstaff from using the term Lite. Is the term Lite a generic name that does not qualify for trademark protection? Miller Brewing Co. v. Falstaff Brewing Corp., 655 F.2d 5, Web 1981 U.S. App. Lexis 11345 (United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit)
7.6 Ethics Case Elvis Presley, a rock-and-roll singer, became a musical icon during a career that spanned more than twenty years, until he died at the age of 42. Many companies and individuals own copyrights to Presley’s songs, lyrics, photographs, movies, and appearances on TV shows. Millions of dollars of Elvis Presley-related 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 two hundred people regarding virtually all aspects of Elvis’s life. Passport sold the videos commercially for a profit. Approximately 5 to 10 percent of the videos were composed of copyrighted music and appearances of Presley on television and in movies owned by copyright holders other than Passport. Passport did not obtain permission to use those copyrighted works. Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc., and other companies and individuals that owned copyrights to the Presley works used by Passport sued Passport for copyright infringement. Passport defended, arguing that its use of the copyrighted materials was fair use. The U.S. District Court held in favor of the plaintiff copyright holders and enjoined Passport from further distribution of its documentary videos. Passport appealed.
Did Passport act ethically in including the Elvis Presley copyrighted material in its video? Why do you think Passport Video did so? Has there been fair use in this case, or has there been copyright infringement? Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. v. Passport Video, 349 F.3d 622, Web 2003 U.S. App. Lexis 22775 (United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit)
7.7 Ethics Case Once in the past, when the city of New York teetered on the brink of bankruptcy, on the television screens of America there appeared an image of a top-hatted Broadway showgirl, backed by an advancing phalanx of dancers, chanting “I-I-I-I-I-I Love New Yo-o-o-o-o-o-o-rk.” As an ad campaign for an ailing city, it was an unparalleled success. Crucial to the campaign was a brief but exhilarating musical theme written by Steve Karmin called “I Love New York.” Elsmere Music, Inc., owned the copyright to the music. The success of the campaign did not go unnoticed. The popular weekly variety program Saturday Night Live (SNL) performed a comedy sketch over National Broadcasting Company’s network (NBC). In the sketch, the cast of SNL, portraying the mayor and members of the chamber of commerce of the biblical city of Sodom, were seen discussing Sodom’s poor public image with out-of-towners and its effect on the tourist trade. In an attempt to recast Sodom’s image in a more positive light, a new advertising campaign was revealed, with the highlight of the campaign being a song “I Love Sodom” sung a cappella by a chorus line of SNL regulars to the tune of “I Love New York.” Elsmere Music did not see the humor of the sketch and sued NBC for copyright infringement. Who wins? Did SNL act ethically in parodying the “I Love New York” campaign? Elsmere Music, Inc. v. National Broadcasting Co., Inc., 623 F.2d 252, Web 1980 U.S. App. Lexis 16820 (United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit)
35.2 Occupational Safety Getty Oil Company (Getty) operates a separation facility where it gathers gas and oil from wells and transmits them to an outgoing pipeline under high pressure. Getty engineers designed and produced a pressure vessel, called a fluid booster, which was to be installed to increase pressure in the system. Robinson, a Getty engineer, was instructed to install the vessel. Robinson picked up the vessel from the welding shop without having it tested. After he completed the installation, the pressure valve was put into operation. When the pressure increased from 300 to 930 pounds per square inch, an explosion occurred. Robinson died from the explosion, and another Getty employee was seriously injured. The secretary of labor issued a citation against Getty for violating the general duty provision for worker safety contained in the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Getty challenged the citation. Who wins? Getty Oil Company v. Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, 530 F.2d 1143, Web 1976 U.S. App. Lexis 11640 (United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit)
36.5 Religious Discrimination Trans World Airlines (TWA), an airline, operated a large maintenance and overhaul base for its airplanes in Kansas City, Missouri. Because of its essential role, the stores department at the base operated 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. The employees at the base were represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (Union). TWA and Union entered into a collective bargaining agreement that included a seniority system for the assignment of jobs and shifts.
TWA hired Larry Hardison to work as a clerk in the stores department. Soon after beginning work, Hardison joined the Worldwide Church of God, which does not allow its members to work from sunset on Friday until sunset on Saturday and on certain religious holidays. Hardison, who had the second-lowest seniority within the stores department, did not have enough seniority to observe his Sabbath regularly. When Hardison asked for special consideration, TWA offered to allow him to take his Sabbath off if he could switch shifts with another employee-union member. None of the other employees would do so. TWA refused Hardison’s request for a four-day workweek because it would have had to hire and train a part-time worker to work on Saturdays or incur the cost of paying overtime to an existing full-time worker on Saturdays. Hardison sued TWA for religious discrimination, in violation of Title VII. Do TWA’s actions violate Title VII? Who wins? Trans World Airlines v. Hardison, 432 U.S. 63, 97 S.Ct. 2264, 53 L.Ed.2d 113, Web 1977 U.S. Lexis 115 (Supreme Court of the United States)
36.7 Ethics Case The PGA Tour, Inc., is a nonprofit entity that sponsors professional golf tournaments. The PGA has adopted a set of rules that apply to its golf tour. One rule requires golfers to walk the golf course during PGA-sponsored tournaments. Casey Martin is a talented amateur golfer who won many high school and university golf
championships. Martin has been afflicted with Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber Syndrome, a degenerative circulatory disorder that obstructs the flow of blood from his right leg to his heart. The disease is progressive and has atrophied his right leg. Walking causes Martin pain, fatigue, and anxiety, with significant risk of hemorrhaging.
When Martin turned professional, he qualified for the PGA Tour. He made a request to use a golf cart while playing in PGA tournaments. When the PGA denied his request, Martin sued the PGA for violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for not making reasonable accommodations for his disability. Did the PGA owe a duty of social responsibility to accommodate Martin’s disability? Does the ADA require the PGA Tour, Inc., to accommodate Casey Martin, a disabled professional golfer, by permitting him to use a golf cart while playing in PGA-sponsored golf tournaments? PGA Tour v. Martin, 532 U.S. 661, 212 S.Ct. 1879, 149 L.Ed.2d 904, Web 2001 U.S. Lexis 4115 (Supreme Court of the United States)