Mardis Gras Indians Claim Copyright Protection Over Outfits
from the copyright-this dept
As the article notes, this is a pretty questionable copyright claim. As we've discussed at length, there is no copyright protection on clothing, but the lawyer who's been pushing this copyright plan is claiming that these outfits aren't really clothing, but sculptures -- which can be covered by copyright.
Of course, the whole thing is pretty ridiculous. These costumes are designed to be worn in public and shown off. At some point you have to simply expect people to photograph them. The costumes were created to be noticed, and it's pretty obnoxious to then get upset that they actually did get noticed. Furthermore, let's look at this from the perspective of what copyright law is here for: it's to create an incentive to create. Being able to copyright these outfits doesn't change the incentives to create. Already there are strong cultural and community incentives for this group of folks to create these outfits (apparently, each year they create a new one). What becomes clear in reading the article is that they're not using copyright law as an incentive, but simply as a way to prevent others from doing things with the photographs. This seems to go against the very purpose of copyright law.