Great post by Bobbi Newman... But the focus on CC confusion and flickr enablement is beside the point-> we can reproduce COPYRIGHTED works in our [educational, non-commercial, etc] presentations without permission or licensing because it's a FAIR USE.
There's another side to this story, which is that Blake is actually a creepy profiteer. He verges on stalker. Poor Chuck Close has stepped in shit by engaging this character at all, who now appears to be an underdog in a story about copyright/ownership. When he's not. We're not talking copyright anymore. This one's actually about harassment and self-promotion.
re: "1) Copying Tā moko from Māori" - yup. So it could be argued that this guy's tattoo is itself 'not sufficiently original' (a copy, or maybe a 'remix' of Tā moko); I prefer the obvious: 2) the Hangover II use is a clear-cut parody. Parody = protected speech, the best fair use defense there is. Tattooist/gold-digger case: dead in the water. Judge isn't making any sense.
A long-time fan, this is my first ever comment on Techdirt. (Joy Garnett here, aka 'newsgrist').
- Visual art has ALWAYS utilized quotes: visual referencing. Visual language is composed of such referencing. In that respect, visual art is 'open source". Always has been.
- You can't copyright an arrangement of shapes any more than you can copyright the color blue, or an arrangement of a selection of colors. Legally speaking, such things are usually "not sufficiently 'original'". At any rate, the attempt to make it impossible for another artist to re-use such an arrangement of shapes is not practical, nor is it legally or ethically viable. If such prohibitions were legally enforced (or even enforceable, which they are not), art production would abruptly cease -- a perfectly Kafka-esque scenario. Of course, all the actual artists would go underground, leaving behind an above-ground cultural landscape populated by Disney, CNN, mangy old Associated Press photos, and Hallmark cards. Someone please write a juicy sci-fi thriller along these lines. You can send me my residuals poste restante. :-)
- More on owning compositions: consider a Monet painting of a haystack: a particular geometric shape set against a horizon line, painted with a certain palette. By extension of Allison's logic above, (where she states that Lang's crease patterns were blown up and exhibited as paintings...), if artists were able to copyright compositions -- for that IS what we are talking about here re: crease patterns -- no one else would be allowed to paint the haystack in the same composition or utilizing the same palette. So much for Impressionism (etc), eh?
- Moving right along: Lang's design, which initially was intended as an instructional diagram, is an "idea" and not yet an "expression"; if he himself took the idea and re-purposed it as a painting, then *anyone* can. And why not? These are instructions: instructions are meant to INSTRUCT. They offer a set of procedures to be followed. And procedural instructions are one of the things not protected by copyright... that is because they need to be covered by patent law, which has much stricter rules for inventions and new procedures. Did Lang patent those instructions? something tells me not; nor would he be able to demonstrate that his origami patterns are sufficiently unique or new vis-a-vis traditional origami patterns -- and hence patentable. That they are not.
- Lastly: Sarah Morris appropriated these various arrangements of shapes in order to make her signature paintings; that they comment on the flatness of painting vis-a-vis the ironic use of patterns intended as templates for 3D objects is a conceptual twist that changes the meaning of these patterns considerably. This new meaning adheres to the crease patterns only in her work. They do not change, hinder, impede, supercede, destroy or harm the originating diagrams (or the market for them) in any way. This is one element among many that demonstrates how Morris's use is a transformative use. This also highlights the fact that all artworks have a conceptual dimension, and are not merely about appearances -- people! ---> get past the notion that art is just about "appearance"! the underlying ideas are largely what contribute to the nature, meaning and purpose of any given work.