by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
balloon dogs, bookends, jeff koons

Jeff Koons Drops Silly Lawsuit Over Balloon Dog Bookends... But Not Before Helping To Sell A Bunch

from the nice-work dept

Last month, we wrote about the ridiculous situation in which appropriation artist Jeff Koons, who famously "appropriates" works from elsewhere to make his art, had threatened to sue a store in San Francisco, called Park Life, for selling balloon dog bookends. Despite the fact that balloon dogs have been around for ages, well before Koons turned the concept into a statue, he seemed to think that the bookends were infringing on his work. You can see the two below (bookends on the left, Koons' work on the right):
However, after Koons was ridiculed in blogs and the press, it appears he realized that any legal action would undoubtedly end poorly for him. Just the threat itself had already turned sour. So now the news comes out that he has officially dropped any plans to take legal action, based on the promise that the store would not refer to Koons' work in selling the bookends. The retailer notes that this condition was perfectly fine since it had never mentioned Koons at all. Thankfully, Park Life owner Jamie Alexander, specifically made sure that there was no gag order on the details of the settlement, because he wanted it to be clear to the world that the store did not give in, but rather stood up "to a bully." Good for them.

Oh yeah. On top of all that, reports say that the legal threat has massively increased demand for the bookends. So while Koons doesn't want his name associated with them, it is due solely to his own actions... and those actions have also served to sell a lot of the bookends that Koons so dislikes. Before this, apparently, they weren't selling that well. Park Life says they'd sold three. But since the legal threats, they've sold somewhere around 150.

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  • icon
    Spaceman Spiff (profile), 4 Feb 2011 @ 3:50pm

    Delicious irony!

    This just leads me back to the video posted recently of Couric and Gumbel back in 1994 babbling on TV about the internet. It was so obvious that they didn't get it then, one has to wonder if all the lawsuits, domain "confiscations" (call it what it is - theft by color of authority), DMCA take-down notices, and all the rest is because most of these people are still clueless about the internet. It has produced a paradigm of communication and community so new and vast that they simply cannot get their minds around the concepts that it produces. It has indeed turned the world into a village, even if our so-called leaders still don't understand that. In a village, what you do with your wife in private is known all over town before you even get out of the door...

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

    • icon
      :Lobo Santo (profile), 4 Feb 2011 @ 4:01pm

      Re: Delicious irony!

      I must agree.

      It is sometimes unfortunate that all real cultural advances are generational, if for no other reason than the present/previous generation simply cannot come to terms with the reality of that which has come into being.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2011 @ 3:04am

    Something that gets an smile on my face every time I see it is that black strip on the yellow balloon dog.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Feb 2011 @ 12:26pm

    I saw these on clearance at the factory seconds store Marshall's the other day. Remembering this article I wanted to buy one...but they still are ugly and overpriced

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

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