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Fair Use in the Film Industry: Discussion with USCO Principal, Nov. 7

October 27, 2008
Contact: University Relations
Phone: 410.837.5739

Robert Kasunic, J.D. '92, principal attorney for the United States Copyright Office, will participate in a panel discussion, "Copyrights: Fair Use in the Film Industry," at the University of Baltimore School of Law on Friday, Nov. 7, at 2 p.m. in the School of Law's Venable Baetjer Howard Moot Court Room. Kasunic will be joined by production designer Vince Peranio, intellectual property attorney Michael Yang, J.D. '99, and documentary filmmaker Ronald K. Armstrong. The event, sponsored by the School of Law's Intellectual Property Law Society and the Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law Association, is free and open to the public.

School of Law Professor Lynn McLain will moderate the discussion on fair use, which is the First Amendment defense to copyright infringement lawsuits.

"When you make a movie or a documentary film, what can you use of what others have done before?" McLain asks. "Can you use a clip of a particular song to set the mood? If your main character eats out of a Campbell's soup can, is there a trademark infringement problem? Or will you infringe someone else's copyright if you do? Unless your use is 'fair use,' you are going to be in trouble."

Kasunic is a principal legal advisor at the U.S. Copyright Office. He has been involved with numerous litigation and appellate issues there, including the government's activity in MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd. He has also handled trademark, domain name and antitrust issues. Kasunic also serves as an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown Law School and American University's Washington College of Law.

Peranio is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. His film credits include art direction and production design for many of native Baltimorean John Waters' films, including Pink Flamingos, Polyester and the original version of Hairspray. He has also worked on the acclaimed television series Homicide: Life on the Street and The Wire

Armstrong has been a writer and filmmaker for more than 20 years. His credits include a diverse portfolio of films; now, with the rise of Web-based video and filmmaking, he has developed a type of filmmaking specifically for the Web, "Web Filmmaking 2.0."

Yang is an attorney with the Baltimore-based law firm of Gorman and Williams and is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University as well as the University of Baltimore School of Law. Prior to attending law school, he worked as a graphic designer and a medical researcher utilizing computer imaging. A past president of Maryland Lawyers for the Arts and a current member of the adjunct faculty at the School of Law, Yang is interested in the visual and performing arts. His practice focuses on intellectual property law (including copyright, trademark and the arts), Internet and technology law, corporate and business law and litigation.

The panel discussion will be followed by a reception with the panelists in the School of Law's lobby. No R.S.V.P. is required. For more information, contact Abioye Oyewole at

The University of Baltimore is a member of the University System of Maryland and comprises the School of Law, the Yale Gordon College of Liberal Arts and the Merrick School of Business.


Last Published 6/9/16