Document Type


Publication Date



A girl owns a number of Barbie dolls. She makes outfits for them and constructs elaborate scenarios in which they play starring roles. She enacts her dramas in her front yard, where passers-by can easily see. Does she violate the law? What if the girl writes down her stories starring Barbie? What happens when she lets her friends read them? What if she e-mails those stories to a Barbie mailing list? What if she posts those stories and a picture of Barbie in her new outfit on her Web page?

Copyright law has long been a concern more for corporations than for ordinary citizens. However, with new technologies that allow individuals to produce and distribute information easily, however, copyright law is becoming increasingly relevant to common activities. Much has been written about the problems created by the easy reproduction of copyrighted documents and by the poor fit between law and technology that makes every person who browses the World Wide Web ("the Web") a likely lawbreaker. This Article goes beyond the debate over pure copying to analyze the implications of creative work-now widely accessible via the Internet-that draw on copyrighted elements of popular culture.

Publication Citation

17 Loy. L.A. Ent. L.J. 651 (1996-1997)