Art Bouchat, an artist in Baltimore, submitted his logo design for the Baltimore Ravens professional football team, and the Ravens used a logo design that was very similar to Bouchat’s design for their team logo during the 1996–1998 seasons. Bouchat sued the Ravens for copyright infringement for using his design as their logo without his permission, and the court ruled that the Ravens had improperly used Bouchat’s design for their logo and had infringed on his copyright of that design.
The Ravens 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 Bouchat had designed and that the Ravens had improperly used during those seasons appeared in the highlight films.
Bouchat sued the Ravens a second time, alleging that the appearance of the logo he designed in the highlight films was, again, copyright infringement.
The Ravens assert two defenses to Bouchat’s claim of copyright infringement the second time around.
1. The Ravens contended that their use of the 1996–1998 logo in the highlight films was protected by the fair use doctrine.
2. Since Bouchat and the Ravens were both citizens of Baltimore, there was no commerce among the states or interstate commerce involved, so Congress had no authority to make laws that protected Bouchat’s copyright.
In a two-page case study, address the questions below.
1. Is the Raven’s use of the logo on the highlight films protected by the fair use doctrine?
2. Is the Raven’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 Ravens’ use of the logo, explain how the evolution of the Commerce Clause of the Constitution of the United States affects businesses and the Ravens in particular. Also, be sure to address the categories of intellectual properties protected by the Constitution of the United States.