Last summer, we wrote about a simply ridiculous lawsuit from a photographer, Janine Gordon, against another photographer, Ryan McGinley, claiming copyright infringement for taking photos that were at best marginally similar
. Seriously, the similarities between these photos is hard to see in most cases, and any claims of actual copying seem almost totally non-existent:
Thankfully, the judge made pretty quick work of it, completely slamming Gordon
for thinking McGinley's photos infringed, and pointing out that:
the dictates of good eyes and common sense lead inexorably to the conclusion that there is no substantial similarity between Plaintiff’s works and the allegedly infringing compositions
Throughout the ruling, the judge eviscerates Gordon's arguments, calling her claims "infirm." You might think that Gordon would get the hint. Instead, she's appealing the ruling and insisting that it's the judge who doesn't understand copyright law
. As ArtInfo quotes and summarizes from the appeal:
"The District Court improperly dismissed my law suit because it did not apply the copyright law correctly," it reads, adding that the previous decision "exhibited a lack of intrinsic comprehension of art, and its expression or intended expression." Gordon claims that the court ignored the copyrightable elements of her work and that its judgement rested on the content rather than the stylistic decisions of her photographs: "the District Court’s focus on the similarity in subject matter, which was only part of my artistic choice, was a great error."
Of course, if you read the original court ruling, nothing could be further from the truth. The ruling talks about the "artistic choice" argument too, and found it lacking. Hopefully, the appeals court makes quick work of this as well. As Artinfo notes, McGinley's lawyers certainly don't seem particularly worried.