Head over Heels (or Vice Versa) for Copyright Infringement

ATTORNEYSCOTT COMMENTARY:

There exists no compelling legal nuance with which to frame the below situation.  An image allegedly created by one artist was apparently copied almost verbatim by another “artist.” The original artwork reflects a bony skater pulling a (very literal) headstand, and the alleged infringement appears to be a slightly (and perhaps knowingly?) modified version or the original.  One might say that only a ghoul wouldn’t find this rip to cross the line from borrowing an idea to borrowing the expression of the idea. Haunting images are below.

-AttorneyScott – [email protected]

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Dear YTWWN:

It looks like artist Ben “Way Bad” Jensen has been knocked off by a UK company named Who? Clothing (http://www.whoclothing.com). Who? Clothing is apparently marketing garments bearing a design that is ripped from Jensen’s work.

See below (Jensen on the left, Who? Clothing on the right):

 

The artist has brought this dispute to Who? Clothing’s attention, to no avail.

Who? Clothing’s refusal to stop selling the rip is an even bigger bummer given that Jensen had previously sold the design to artist-friendly clothing company Wolves Kill Sheep (http://wolveskillsheep.com).

Adding insult to injury, Who? Clothing gave its shirt the SAME NAME (“Skull Plant”).

Tragic.

 

Is Forever 21 Skirting the Law?

ATTORNEYSCOTT COMMENTARY:

As you may have noticed, posting on YTWWN has not been hot-and-heavy as of late. This can be attributed to a recent uptick in infringement that has kept us lawyering late into the night, and left scant time for posting. This week we will be fixing that, with a number of new posts highlighting different design and art law matters.

This one comes from our law firm’s recent files. One firm client, a company named FATE, was visiting a FOREVER 21 store recently when it discovered, to its chagrin, that FOREVER 21 was marketing a skirt that appeared to be a near-verbatim copy of a FATE design. See below for a comparison; the FATE garment is on the left and the FOREVER 21 garment is on the right:

Long-time readers of YTWWN know that the cut (or silhouette) of a garment is not subject to copyright protection. Judged to be “utilitarian articles” by the powers that be in Congress, clothing silhouettes can be copied without legal recourse. Designs or embellishments that adorn clothing, though, are protected by copyright law. Has such a design been copied here?

- AttorneyScott – [email protected]

Samsung Dials up Some Infringement?

ATTORNEYSCOTT COMMENTARY:

Has Samsung gone too far in its use of the below artwork?

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Dear YTWWN:

With Samsung’s launch of their new Galaxy S 5 and Gear fit, they are using a design copied by Chicago illustrator Joe Van Wetering. Joe has used this style since 2009 in various forms. It is a major part of Samsung’s marketing and they have given no response about the designs.

 

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