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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 However, in our comments over the weekend Christopher alerted us to the news that the estate had withdrawn the copyright infringement claim, apparently citing the publicity as the reason.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...

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Chargone, Aug 4th, 2009 @ 2:00am

    how surprising. people don't like it when you complain about stupid things, or attempt to force them to do stuff that makes no sense.


    what world do these people live in?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2009 @ 2:06am

    I've got an idea... let's all carry ID cards!

    (irrelevant to the article)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Poster, Aug 4th, 2009 @ 5:00am

    I'm very glad the estate dropped their claim. I'd hope that the last thing in the world they wanted was to be seen as some sort of bully.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2009 @ 6:16am

    I'm sure they were just trying to protect the estate from becoming generic. It's sad that public opinion has once again stood against the right decision.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2009 @ 6:17am


    sarcasm tag belongs up there, I went to far emulating a real tag and it was lost!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. icon
    Travis (profile), Aug 4th, 2009 @ 7:35am

    Re: Re:

    I was about to flip out when I read your comment :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Sean T Henry, Aug 4th, 2009 @ 7:54am


    In related news the Little Mermaid statue came to life yesterday, and beat a Six year old girl for not paying for the the rights to want to be a mermaid.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    brenadine (profile), Aug 6th, 2009 @ 11:52am

    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...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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