17 USC §106(5) says that the copyright holder of work holds the exclusive right to display the work publicly:
(5) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, to display the copyrighted work publicly
Yet I publicly wear shirts with copyrighted designs all the time, on clothing I legally purchased from the copyright holder.
- Is this a prima facie case of infringement defensible via fair use?
- Or is it allowed by some other legal mechanism?
- Or is it flatly illegal and merely a terrible business idea to litigate?
I understand the first sale doctrine of §109 allows the owner of a copy to distribute their own copy, but it doesn't seem to allow display.
To add a few other examples beyond a t-shirt, what about displaying sculptures or other works of art in my yard? If I wanted to publicly display the entire text of a short story in my yard, would that be different (perhaps due to the "nature of the work" fair use factor)?