The background: Delsman, a longtime G.E. employee, grew, shall we say, disgruntled with how his disability claim was being handled by Sedgwick (something he documented fervently on more than one blog). Anyhow, at one point he sent out the Nazified pictures of Sedgwick CEO David North and COO Paul Posey to a number of Sedgwick employees. (This was an interesting step, skipping right to the Third Reich and not sending out photos of North and Posey altered to look like Mussolini or Tojo.)
Sending out Hitlerian mashups probably doesn't sit well with the folks at the Museum of Tolerance and definitely didn't amuse Sedgwick. The company filed a bevy of claims in April, including copyright infringement, defamation, and libel. Yet the judge saw "Operation Going Postcard" (as Delsman coined it) to be "fair use" of the photos.
Judge Brown felt the Nazified pictures were clearly "transformative" and qualified as "parody" -- "Allowing Defendant to use the photographs in the context of publicly criticizing and warning the public regarding Sedgwick's business practices is precisely the type of activity the fair use doctrine is intended to protect."
Two other fun facts: In siding with the defendant, Brown cited the cases Sprewell v. Golden State Warriors and Savage v. Council on American-Islamic Relations. There's a dream team, all right.
Also, Delsman, a non-attorney, won this one without representation. Impressive. Not advisable -- but impressive.
H/T | Courthouse News