Jim Clark, an artist in Birmingham, submitted his logo design for the Birmingham Cougars football team, and the Cougars used a logo design that was very similar to Clark’s design for their team logo during the 1996–1998 seasons. Clark sued the Cougars for copyright infringement for using his design as their logo without his permission, and the court ruled that the Cougars had improperly used Clark’s design for their logo and had infringed on his copyright of that design.The Cougars changed their logo for the 1999 season, but they started showing highlight films from their 1996–1998 seasons in their stadium, on their website, and on their television channel, and the logo that Clark had designed and that the Cougars had improperly used during those seasons appeared in the highlight films.Clark sued the Cougars a second time, alleging that the appearance of the logo he designed in the highlight films was, again, copyright infringement.The Cougars assert two defenses to Clark’s claim of copyright infringement the second time around.
- The Cougars contended that their use of the 1996–1998 logo in the highlight films was protected by the fair use doctrine.
- Since Clark and the Cougars were both citizens of Birmingham, there was no commerce among the states or interstate commerce involved, so Congress had no authority to make laws that protected Clark’s copyright.
In a two-page case study, address the questions below.
- Is the Cougar’s use of the logo on the highlight films protected by the fair use doctrine?
- Is the Cougar’s claim that Congress does not have the power to regulate copyright within a single state valid?
As you answer these two questions about the Cougar’s use of the logo, explain how the evolution of the Commerce Clause of the Constitution of the United States affects businesses and the Cougars in particular. Also, be sure to address the categories of intellectual properties protected by the Constitution of the United States