Oregon Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts

In Defense of Art

In Defense of Art is the official blog of Oregon Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts

Posts tagged de minimis
How Much ‘Minimis’ is de Minimis?

A copyright grants protection to the owner against any work which is “substantially similar” to the copyrighted work. This includes not only copying, but recreations of a copyrighted work as well. For instance, if you were to replicate the exact setting and elements of a particular photograph and recreate the picture using your own camera, you may be infringing on that photograph, even if you aren’t making an actual copy of the original. This is a powerful protection given to copyright owners, but it isn’t limitless. One of the limitations to this protection is known as the de minimis doctrine—literally, copying of such a trifling amount that the law need not be concerned. This week, we’ll cover what the de minimis doctrine is and when it may apply.

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