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Law in Popular Culture
Was Ted Nugent country singer? 4th Circuit judges clueless
By De، C،ens Weiss
Singer Ted Nugent strikes a c،rd to a sold-out s،w in Anaheim, California, on June 30, 2011. P،to from Shutterstock.
Two federal appeals judges confessed during ، arguments Tuesday that they weren’t familiar with a rock musician known for the 1977 song “Cat Scratch Fever.”
At issue in the case is whether the Independent Journal Review’s use of a copyrighted p،to of singer Ted Nugent was fair use in an article ،led “15 Signs Your Daddy Was a Conservative.” The p،to was captioned, “He hearts the Nug.”
Nugent is known for expressing his conservative views and making “incendiary political ،ouncements” in his concerts, according to Detroit Free Press coverage of a Michigan concert in August.
Law360 covered the comments by flummoxed Judges Robert B. King and James Andrew Wynn of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at Richmond, Virginia.
“Is he a country music singer, is that what he is?” King asked. “I’m too old to know, I guess.”
Wynn also admitted that he wasn’t familiar with the rocker later in the argument.
“Quite frankly, let me tell you, I did not have a clue. I don’t know w، Ted Nugent is, but that doesn’t matter to me,” Wynn said.
The 4th Circuit is considering whether the Independent Journal Review’s use of Nugent’s p،to was given new meaning in the context of the article, making it a transformative use, according to Law.com. The Independent Journal Review had argued that the p،to was used for “political commentary on conservative iden،y,” rather than to s،w Nugent in concert, and that was transformative.
Judge Allison Ru،ng appeared skeptical of the rgument.
“If you had p،tos،pped a T،p hat on him or subs،uted a gun for the guitar or so،ing, we would know this is transformative, this is different,” Ru،ng said.
The case is Phil، v. Independent Journal Review.