by Mike Masnick
Mon, May 9th 2011 11:03am
Wow. Via Joy Garnett, we discover the latest in a long line of ridiculous copyright lawsuits. Apparently six "origami artists" have sued painter Sarah Morris for using their origami patterns as inspiration for some paintings she did. From the exhibits in the lawsuit, you can see the origami folding patterns on the left, and Morris' paintings on the right:
Yeah. The artists don't seem to have any good reason for this lawsuit, other than that they don't like derivative works. They exaggerate in claiming that copyright holders have full control over all derivative works. That is not true. Works that are transformative (as these appear to be) can qualify as fair use. I also think that if you look at the key prong in the fair use test (the impact on the market for the original), it's difficult to see how these painting are not fair use. They don't compete with the original patterns at all. If anything, I would think those paintings would enhance the demand for those patterns. After seeing the paintings, I'd be more curious about the original origami patterns... if I wasn't so turned off by a bunch of greedy origami artists trying to cash in.
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