by Mike Masnick
Mon, Feb 15th 2010 12:42pm
Michael Scott points us to a story over at IPKat about how singer Beyonce (or, rather, her label, Sony) is in trouble in Germany for infringing on the copyright of a designer due to a bikini she wore in a video. Seriously. In the US, we (for the time being, at least) still don't allow copyrights on clothing design, but apparently in Germany they feel differently about that sort of thing. Still, there are two disturbing aspects to this case. First, after ruling that the bikini infringed, the judge put an injunction on the entire video in Germany, though, since we're not in Germany, here it is:
But what's more troubling is the fact that the two bikinis really are not the same. Remember, copyright is supposed to be about the specific expression and not the idea. But that doesn't seem to be the case here. The two bikinis are obvious inspired by similar ideas -- or one was inspired by the other -- but the actual expressions of those ideas are quite different:
Finally, even if the bikini is infringing, shouldn't the problem be with whoever made the infringing bikini, not who wore it (or who paid for the video including someone wearing it)?
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