Many of the copyright case studies at the links below illustrate an important element of copyright and may help guide you in the future. Sometimes, the best way to understand legal concepts like copyright is to see how they function in specific situations.

99designs: “5 Famous Copyright Infringement Cases”

These case studies involve disputes over derivative artwork based on copyrighted material, and they also provide images so you can judge for yourself. One recent example includes Shephard Fairey’s “Hope” poster of Barack Obama, which was based on an Associated Press photograph.

 Arts Law Centre: Case studies

The Arts Law Centre of Australia, which provides legal advice for artists, offers a searchable database of case studies that cover a range of copyright situations. The database also enables you to explore cases by legal topic area and art form.

Stanford University Libraries: Summaries of fair use cases

Stanford University describes a series of copyright cases and whether or not the courts ruled that the use of a copyrighted work was a fair use or was not a fair use. This page also lists the factors that influenced the court in making its decision.

 World Intellectual Property Organization’s “Minding Culture: Case Studies on Intellectual Property and Traditional Cultural Expressions”

For a detailed look at copyright, this document shares eight cases in which indigenous Australians used copyright to protect their creations and their culture.