Funny How A Little Public Pressure Makes Artist's Estate Back Down

from the sunlight-as-a-disinfectant dept

Last week, we wrote about the rather bizarre case of the estate of artist Roy Lichtenstein threatening a band for using an image for their album cover that was “appropriated” from the same original comic that Lichtenstein himself appropriated for one of his works. The whole thing was a bit confusing and demonstrated some of the more ridiculous parts of copyright law. Either way, all the talk about it — including a lot of people mocking the Lichtenstein estate’s position — seems to have convinced the estate to backdown. Either that or they spoke to a lawyer and realized that the claim would have been pretty weak, given that Lichtenstein himself also copied the image. Perhaps next time the Lichtenstein estate will think twice before sending out a questionable threat letter.

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Comments on “Funny How A Little Public Pressure Makes Artist's Estate Back Down”

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Anonymous Coward says:

is it public exposure that did it, or more likely that they were surprised to find someone at the other end that would fight it at all? legal costs are such these days that many people will fold rather than fight. i have seen plenty of legal letters that are more to do with hoping you back down than actually having a legal leg to stand on. copyright isnt unique in his manner.

Anonymous Coward says:

Derivitive works

This one looks rather cut and dried… whats really funny is when people start fighting over very derivative works… and there are a lot of derivative works. Think along the lines of something like HG Wells War of the Worlds.. or Sherlock Homes.

The lawsuits get interesting when one derivative influences another derivative work more then the original work did.

Gotta love lawsuits.

WammerJammer (profile) says:

Isn't this the way business is done?

What’s the problem? Our history is full of one borrowing from another and making something out of it. Apple stole / borrowed the Graphics Interface and Pointer (Mouse) code from Xerox to create a Mac. Microsoft borrowed / stole from Apple to create Windows. Cisco borrowed / stole the design and code for Routers from Stanford and never paid them a dime until 10 years after they stole it.
It’s nothing new and it not only affects Copyrights, it has bled over into Patents. Examining the patent for Second Life, which was a unique one of a kind program. I found that it was forced to rely on 17 other patents in order to be realized. Patents as obscure as the type of screen you viewed it on. It looked like a joke.
You can’t create anything original anymore without someone holding a Copyright or Patent for part of your idea. It has literally made any creative endeavor for the normal person almost impossible to protect themselves. When you do have a good idea you wind up paying royalties to a bunch of companies that had nothing to do with your idea. But this is called competition and is healthy?
I am a songwriter and performer and have written and co-written several albums of music. But because I am indie and privately (self) published I get no protection from the RIAA or any other agency. I have copyrights and because I am not with the big 3 the RIAA could care less about me. But the Radio Stations my music is played on pays the royalties to ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. They collect the fees for my music but refuse to pay me unless I sue.
This system SUCKS WAZOO and is against the people. Any politician that supports this kind of tyranny deserves whatever the people do to them. The main problem is that the creative part of our society is very small and as such can be manipulated.

Jupiter (profile) says:

All creative art of monetary value eventually ends up in the possession of lawyers – usually lawyers working for big companies whose sole purpose is making money from that art. That’s the way the system is gamed. That’s why copyright extends way beyond death, so the lawyers can feed on the estate. Hmm… I wonder who came up with those laws?

Artists should revolt, but the big companies give them just enough money to keep them pacified while keeping the lion’s share for themselves. I guess they think artists should just be happy making art.

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