In Re Elster
Continental Automotive Systems v. Avanci, LLC

Bell v. Eagle Mountain Saginaw Independent School District

Just as famous as some great upsets in sports history are the motivational speeches that inspired them. Knute Rockne, in a speech immortalized in film by a future President, asked his Notre Dame players at halftime to “win one for the Gipper.” They did just that, rallying to beat an undefeated Army. See Knute Rockne: All American (Warner Bros. 1940). Herb Brooks convinced a group of American college players that for one night they could be “the greatest hockey team in the world.” They were, defeating the mighty Soviets in the Miracle on Ice. See Miracle (Walt Disney Pictures 2004).

Technology now allows inspirational messages to be conveyed not only in the locker room but also on social media. The softball team and flag corps at a public high school outside Fort Worth used their Twitter accounts to post a motivational passage from sports psychologist Keith Bell’s book, Winning Isn’t Normal.

We do not know if the tweets motivated the students to perform at a higher level. We do know that the tweets resulted in Bell’s suing the school district for copyright infringement. We must decide if the tweets were a fair use of the copyright that bars this suit.

Download Bell v. Eagle Mountain Saginaw Independent School District


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