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Kelly v. Arriba Soft Corporation

Kelly v. Arriba Soft Corporation, 1999 U.S. App. LEXIS 1786

The plaintiff was a commercial photographer whose pictures would be sold to various publications. The defendant ran a search engine on which Kelly's pictures appeared as thumbnails. Clicking on the thumbnails would connect with Kelly's website and display the full picture through on-line linking. The full picture was not stored in Arriba's system, but would nevertheless be displayed on the user's screen in a frame environment provided by Arriba.

There were two issues decided in this case. 1. The thumbnails were copyright violations that were exempted by the fair use provisions. 2. The on-line links that displayed the full picture were not protected by fair use.

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