Little Mermaid Statue Free To Be After Artist's Estate Didn't Expect Negative Publicity

from the funny-how-that-works dept

On Friday, we wrote about how an artist’s estate was going after a small town in Michigan, for daring to have a “Little Mermaid” statue to play up many of the town’s Danish ancestors. There’s a famous Little Mermaid statue in Denmark, and the artist’s estate (the artist died fifty years ago) apparently thinks all such statues infringe on its copyright (even though this statue was very different). However, in our comments over the weekend Christopher alerted us to the news that the estate had withdrawn the copyright infringement claim, apparently citing the publicity as the reason. Apparently, being a copyright bully can have a bit of a backlash…

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Comments on “Little Mermaid Statue Free To Be After Artist's Estate Didn't Expect Negative Publicity”

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brenadine (profile) says:

Dropped the case b/c it's probably public domain

Reason why the suit was dropped is likely because the statue is in the public domain…

“copy” was installed in 1994
Original scultpture was unveiled in 1913 in Denmark

Even if copyright was restored in URAA, they would be required to file a NIE, since the town was using it before the URAA agreement and the 1994 sculptor would have relied on the 1913 sculpture being in the public domain. The town would have a 12-month grace period from the NIE to remove or negotiate with copyright holder under URAA rules for derivative works.

At any rate, generally, for works created before 1978 the copyright term is only 95 years from publication if copyright is restored under URAA, so 1913+95=2008 so the thing has probably been in public domain in US for a year now…

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