LEGAL ANSWERS Vintage fair mall’s to be faire, court rules article Vintage fair malls, such as the one at the Fairmont Grand Hotel and Casino in the Bahamas, are now a “fair use” under the law.
It comes after the Supreme Court ruled that to use a work for the purpose of making money, you must make it “fair”.
This means that if a mall has a sign that says “NO REFUNDS!” it is fair to use that to make money.
“The Supreme Court has said that if you are not the owner of the work you are free to use it as you please, as long as you do not infringe the owner’s rights,” said Michael J. Caulkins, professor of intellectual property law at University of Melbourne.
The court said the “fair” meaning was the right of the copyright holder to use the work for his or her own purposes.
Caulkins said the decision was “significant and should have a wide-ranging impact”.
The case is Old World Copyright, Inc v Old World Mall and Gardens Limited, Crown and the Bahamas Ltd  SASC 1.
This is a joint application in the Federal Court and the Federal Circuit of Australia.
Mr Caulkin said it was important that the courts understood what a fair work was, what the “rights owner” is supposed to be entitled to, and what the courts are allowed to do with copyright.
He said it could also be a source of concern for people who use copyrighted works for non-commercial purposes, such in the art and music industries.
Old World Copyright is suing the Bahamas for infringement of its copyright by a Melbourne man.
If the court were to find the Bahamas was in breach of copyright law, the court could decide the Bahamas is not entitled to recover from Old World.
In February, the High Court ruled in a case called Chilcot Report that the use of the phrase “a day in the life” was a fair and proper use of copyrighted material.
That case, Old World Music and Video Ltd v New South Wales State Government, was brought by Old World music and video owner Mr J.L. Taylor, who used the phrase on the YouTube channel.
His argument was that the phrase was a reference to a day of his life.
A federal judge ruled the phrase did not infringed Mr Taylor’s copyright.