More Hooting about Infringement

ATTORNEYSCOTT COMMENTARY:

In a famous case named Satava, the Court reviewed a claim that one sculptor’s  jellyfish statue was copied from that of another. Both jellyfish were extremely life-like and technically accurate depictions of the sea creature. The Court denied the claim. It’s reasoning was that if you are creating something that is a technical recreation of an animal in nature, there are only a few ways to do so, and multiple recreations will almost by definition be substantially similar because they are accurately rendered from a common source. Also, the Court did not want to give the artist claiming infringement a monopoly on all life-like jellyfish statues, which may have been the case had it ruled that nobody else could create life-like renderings of jellyfish.

One fact that influenced the court was the medium involved. Clearly, there are fewer ways to depict a life-like jellyfish in statue form than there would be had it been a painting or work of graphic art. And the more fanciful and stylish the artwork, the less likely the Court will be to limit protection.  In the below submission, one artist feels that a second has misappropriated her owl. Is the artsy owl so fanciful and unique that copying is afoot, or are the similarities a result of both being accurate renditions of owls in nature?

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Dear YTWWN:

Recently a friend of mine told me that she saw one of my owl designs printed on a women’s t-shirt in one of UK’s clothing store NEW LOOK . though i never sold that design to them or gave them permission to use it for there clothing.

I also noticed that they added a crown on top of the design and also added some messy blobs of color into the image. but you can clearly tell its one of my designs.

here is a link of the Iain Macarthur owl design that i did in 2009 :

http://www.behance.net/gallery/Animal-illustrations-and-shirt-designs/1078011

and here’s the link of the design that new look have taken and changed:

http://www.newlook.com/shop/womens/tops/influence-white-owl-print-sleeveless-vest_268569710

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have any questions or comments about the issue above. please feel free to email to : [email protected]

Zen and the Art of Copyright Infringement

ATTORNEYSCOTT COMMENTARY:

Today’s submission alleges a theft of hand. Buddha’s hand, to be exact. The law is pretty clear that one shouldn’t palm off the art of others, even if the palm itself is the art, and the palming-off is in the guise of “inspiration.”

See below and ask yourself: “What would Buddha do?”

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Dear YTWWN:

A company, Artistic Revolt, based in Atlanta (http://www.art3k.com/) is selling cliche clothing which is stealing art from CRYPTIK who is based in Los Angeles (www.cryptik.com). They made tshirts from CRYPTIK’s well known ‘Palm of Buddha’ piece and they began selling it on Karmaloop. The link on Karmaloop has since come down due to public pressure online, but Artistic Revolt refuses to acknowledge its fraudulent business practices. They also have plans to steal more images from another street artist EDDIE COLLA based in San Francisco, according to the business partners Instagram account.

Virgin Blak rips off Death/Traitors

ATTORNEYSCOTT COMMENTARY:

Typical t-shirt motifs like skulls and birds and the like are subject to strong copyright protection so long as they are not technical depictions of the naturally-occurring thing (such as a very accurate depiction of a skull that looks like the skull that is actually holding your brains in right now). In the below example, it appears as if someone liked someone else’s motif, and helped themselves.

A twist in this case is that the alleged offender is overseas. With the internet being what it is and how it is, a dude with a dial-up connection in some remote island in Micronesia can just as easily knock you off as the guy trawling the aisles of the latest trade show with his spy camera. What the internet taketh, it also giveth back, though – the reader (it is assumed) was able to identify the alleged knock-off artist after the KOA posted the infringing item online.

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Dear YTWWN:


I run an independent clothing label called Death/Traitors, and was shocked to have someone email me a link to South Korean label Virgin Blak. The photo speaks for itself, they didn’t even bother to take my brand name off the stolen design!!!!!

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