Artist Barred From Selling His Own Artwork For Daring To Promote University Of Alabama Football Feats

from the this-makes-no-sense dept

I could have sworn we wrote about this case earlier, but I’m searching around and can’t find the post. It involves Daniel Moore, a painter and fan of the University of Alabama’s football team. Given both those things, he’s been painting portraits of some of the team’s biggest achievements. Now, you might think that any normal person (or university) would be thrilled that its fans had taken things to the level of painting artistic portraits of the team’s greatest moments. What a wonderful statement. Not the University of Alabama, however. It sued Moore for infringement. And while a court found that there’s no trademark infringement if no Alabama logos are shown in the paintings, it also said that, even as such, he was barred from selling merchandise (like calendars) based on his paintings. Robert Ring points out that Moore is appealing the ruling, pointing out (reasonably) that if the paintings themselves don’t infringe, it seems pretty damn hard to see why merchandise based on those same non-infringing painting would be barred. I’m even confused why there’s an issue if the paintings had included Alabama logos. By that logic, any photographs that include a team logo would potentially be infringing as well, which makes no sense. But the biggest issue is why this is even an issue at all. The University should be thrilled that someone is helping promote their team the way Daniel Moore is.

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Comments on “Artist Barred From Selling His Own Artwork For Daring To Promote University Of Alabama Football Feats”

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28 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Alzheimer's & Dementia are closely related.

“I could have sworn we wrote about this case earlier, but I’m searching around and can’t find the post.”

Who is this “WE” you speak of? I’m pretty sure you are the only person who posts stories around here.

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lavi d (profile) says:

Another Day Another Outrage

To my everlasting glee, the internet has caused confusion, anger and terror for anal-retentive, small-minded officials, bureaucrats and businesspeople everywhere.

Their public flailing and thrashing about is truly enjoyable and I find myself checking TechDirt every ten minutes or so anticipating the next amusingly intemperate outburst.

I am mostly annoyed by people who feel they must maintain absolute control of every particle of their little fiefdoms, and so their frequent tantrums and lamentations are a joy to my heart.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Keep ’em comin’, Mike!

TDR says:

Re: Same answer as always...

Sorry, but no. People are going to use content how THEY want to use it, regardless of anyone’s attempt to force them to do otherwise. Smart businesses and individuals learn to take advantage of it and use it to further promote what they do.

Idiots and dinosaurs, on the other hand, operate under the delusion that they have absolute control over every microscopic thing they can get their hands on. Trying to do that is about as smart as strapping a jet engine onto your car and trying to fly.

Despite your comments to the contrary, Anti-Mike, you ARE a shill, simply by virtue of your blanket disagreement with every single story that is posted here. Disagreement without thought dominates you. One way or another, you’ve been bought. Not necessarily by money, and not even necessarily knowingly. But you’ve bought into the sad, outdated beliefs of the dinosaurs. Which makes you a shill. And an empty puppet.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Mike, Good news you aren't going crazy

Heh. No, I found the Texas building story. But I distinctly remember the Alabama football story. Even remember the paintings.

At this point, I’m guessing that it was a story I had open for a while, and then eventually gave up after a couple months in which I never got around to writing it up. It happens.

known coward says:

i wonder if the alumni object

to the stupidity of the school. This does not reflect well on them.

Let’s see the painter is an alabama fan, he is painting pictures glorifying alabama football. Oh yes lets put a stop to that, we do not want to generate any bad will by allowing our fans and supporters to paint football. (even if they had the right to stop them, what rational thought in their brains make them think exercising that right would be a good idea).

I always had too basic thoughts on how to conduct a business

1. Do not piss off your customers unnecessarily
2. Do not get in the way of your customers giving you money.

They should offer the guy a calendar deal of their own, commission him to paint Alabama football, and put that in the calendar along with shots of the team into the calander.

Anonymous Coward says:

As a loyal techdirt reader from the state of Alabama (don’t know how many of us there are), I can tell you that Daniel Moore paintings are famous and larger ones are quite valuable. His paintings have made his name generally recognizable and he has been doing this long enough to become a part of Alabama football tradition. So it’s a bit stunning to see the university do anything but embrace him and his work.

Almost Anonymous (profile) says:

“””
But the biggest issue is why this is even an issue at all.
“””

Mike, I’m surprised. You of all people should know that when the question begins with “why” the answer is almost always “money”. You’ve wrote about this very phenomena, and it *is* quite fascinating. Even if party A would never have done the work itself, that party will fight tooth and nail to prevent party B from somehow profiting off party A’s “fame”, whatsoever that fame might encompass. They just don’t recognize intangible benefits like good will. “Look at that, that jerk is makin’ a buck offa me!”

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