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To photographer Mike Hipple, the claim is baseless. The photo he took about 10 years ago of a woman standing near the "Dance Steps on Broadway" sculpture in Seattle's Capitol Hill is an example of fair use. If it's not, he reasons, the right of all photographers to take pictures in public will be in jeopardy.
His photo was, after all, "taken on a public sidewalk, showing a woman interacting with a piece of public art, paid for by public funds. And it only depicts a small portion of the artwork at that," Hipple wrote. "Now if this doesn't qualify as fair use of the sculpture, I don't know what does."