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Thread: copyright gone wrong!(and mad)

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    copyright gone wrong!(and mad)

    First thing's first: I'm all for copyright infringement laws and careful and dutiful upholding of these laws and rights to the original artist, but today I read a new spot(via DPR) that now got me worried.
    Worried about how ridiculous the law is becoming in some instances, or alternatively that THIS particular case can be taken to court.
    For starters, we can only hope that common sense will prevail, and that the case will be thrown out.
    My deeper suspicions are along the lines of some type of contrived reportage and promotional deal, along lines of what the once very famous Madonna.
    Madonna's modus operandi was to regularly push the socially acceptable envelope of behaviour beyond what the majority of the media deemed to be acceptable.
    All she really did, was what most regular people (possibly) did, but where Madonna did it in a public space, most regular folks wouldn't. Her antics(of those that I vaguely remember, can't really remember specific instances) were of the Shock! variety, and quite obviously managed to the point of not offending regular folks, but quite sure to raise an eyebrow or two(million) in the generally stuffy and conservative thinking media.
    Needless to say, she got far more attention from the media for free than (I felt) she deserved, especially when other more pressing and urgent social issues were loitering.

    So with that (possibility of) 'deliberate high profile marketing and publicity stunt-iness' aspect in the background what idiot lawyer would expect to win a case on 'reasonable use' grounds, when even I(as a legal ignoramus) can easily and clearly see how my 9yo daughter would even laugh at such an argument!

    HERE'S the DPR article which more clearly shows(to me) a few significant flaws in society:
    1. how on Earth does anyone manage to see that the singer's set is 'the same' this LaChapelle's photo set.
    Similar?... yes! For sure! Parody, mimic, taste(as in similar), style.. etc. The only aspect of the sets that are the same, is the style, or the taste, or whatever.
    Is this LaChapelle seriously thinking he's going to get a copyright victory over this?

    This singer girl simply likes this LaChapelle's style, or taste, or interior decorator!
    But copyright??
    Does this LaChapelle freak show really think he has the copyright to this type of scene setup?
    I see no copying of any material elements at all? I see a stark and freaky similarity in the set setup only.. the idea is the same.
    Yeah the elements are similar, but copyright?? No freaking way is this any infringement of copyright.
    Do you have copyright to an idea, and execution of the idea, if the elements are not the same?

    Basically speaking, if PWP_A(Professional Wedding Photographer_A) wants to take a wedding series in a set similar to this one, obviously with different elements such as the people and furniture and carpet... etc, does PWP_A require a licence or enter into a fair use contract of some kind from LaChapelle before the shoot?
    The way this looks is that you will no longer be allowed to create an idea of your own making, which is based on another idea you've already seen.

    One thing's for sure!! If this 'copyright' (non event) just happens to fall in favour of LaChapelle, then it's basically doomsday for just about any form of photography, unless you have a truly original idea, which may just about be quite the impossible task nowadays, as nearly all original ideas can trace their roots back to some old idea done, possibly, a hundred years ago!
    And this barely touches the topic of the immense damage that a victory for LaChapelle will do for the comic(satire) industry.

    Personally I can't see this guy winning the battle, and because of this, I started to wonder if the lame argument offered by singer's lawyer was made so lame simply to get the judge to pass the matter through the court system, and onto a higher level.

    I'd love to see this LaChapelle's last few years of financial history, simply for the purpose of comparing what he used to earn(which, I suspect, was a lot more than he earns now?? ).
    There's one really easy way to not have to pay for advertising. And that's to get into the news, which Madonna used to do with monotonous regularity, as I remember it 20 odd years ago.

    First of all I can't understand why the media felt a need to report it(Madonna), considering the queue of worthy news items that surely must have been out there for the reporting.(there's always a queue of news stories that don't make it to air in the media)
    Secondly, I thought we had media such as Woman's Weekly and Day's of Our Lives for matters of such social and international importance anyhow!?
    Note tho, that the we (in we had) does categorically and implicitly exclude myself, among a few others that I know, but was simply used as an easy to understand term of reference.

    So .. the underlying feeling here is So what! Who cares? ... is this kind of crap going to also filter down and into our legal system?

    .... It's all just a pile of Contrived Reportage And Promotion!
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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Hmmm, sounds familiar.

    New Zealand is the land of the long white cloud.
    America is the land of the long lasting litigation.

    Maybe with the state of the US economy lawyers over there are looking for new ways to put roast lamb on the table.

    I reckon the last line in your post sums it up well Arthur.
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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    The world has become so money focused that its clouding people's judgement. Look at News of the World. In the end its all about making money, and if they think they have a chance of getting some from any source, some people will do so.
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    Well, people trying to milk a celebrity's success is hardly new phenomenon.

    Nor is shocking the public / media with outrageous crap - in fact, most of the Sydney talkback radio jocks consider it their bread and butter.

    It's a mad world.
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    Slow news day, I guess.

    Remember, it's America, which to everyone except its inhabitants isn't the centre (or even entirety) of the universe.

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    I can see clear parallels with the now dead look-and-feel law suit between Apple and Microsoft over Windows copying the graphical interface of Apple. Microsoft clearly copied the style of the interface - windows, mouse pointers, icons, etc - but the courts threw the thing out for similar reasons of simple sanity. I think this will follow the Dodo into history. Even the Yanks aren't that mad. All the respondent has to to is cite Apple vs Microsoft. Case closed.
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    Ausphotography Veteran Speedway's Avatar
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    Oops I photographed a tree who owns the copyright on trees .
    Keith.

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    A royal pain in the bum!
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhoDo View Post
    ..... All the respondent has to to is cite Apple vs Microsoft. Case closed.
    Which is why my initial scepticism and reaction of Surreptious Promotional And Marketing campaign.

    Surely there are also other parallels out there to base a defence upon.

    Another aspect I'm curious about too now.

    Going rates for:
    1a. cheap low ball lawyers fees(obviously these folks don't qualify for legal aide )
    1b. going rate for a national advertising campaign.

    either way, which ever is the cheaper option for the customers oops! I mean protagonists , the media will pick it up quickly(due to the ridiculous nature of the story and/or the implications on your civil rights.. and the right to bear arms .. and so on ) which is basically the same thing in terms of coverage.
    The other question(and possibly for those that regularly watch TV), has anyone heard of this particular judge Judge Shira Scheindlin .. and is she affiliated with the Judge Judy network?

    LOL! I only just read the comments made by viewers, and had to laugh at the one that says "Yaaaawn! ..... "

    the perfect summary!

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    I`m still undecided whether or not I`ll sign the papers to join the human race...with all this BS going on. Common sense is found in a circular holding pattern in the toilet bowl methinks.....
    Graeme
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    US copyright has always been over-zealous and a little weird. Fortunately the law in Australia is restricted in some ways from going so far in this regard.

    I have no idea why the lawyer for the defence slid in that odd argument, maybe concern that the judge had already made her decision regardless of what was said? Very easy case to get dismissed with numerous citable cases which prove that as long as there is sufficient differentiation that any such claim is excessive. Is a bit crazy though to think that if this was held in a higher court, you could technically own a style and sue anyone who immitated you.
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    It has already happened is Aus. Not with photography, but with music.
    Look at the song Down Under by Men At Work. They liked the rhythm of the song Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree, and used it in their song. They got sued. And to me it doesn't sound like it at all.
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    Yeah, pretty stupid that one, Geoff. If it hadn't have been the Girl Guides (I think) it probably would have / should have been tossed out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post

    Going rates for:
    1a. cheap low ball lawyers fees(obviously these folks don't qualify for legal aide )
    1b. going rate for a national advertising campaign.
    I'll give it an estimate:

    1a = Just a little over $US1 million (settling out of court with LaChappelle - and we know his fee is $US1 million! + the lawyers fees)
    1b = mega millions!

    I think you've hit the nail on the head Arthur - most definitely Contrived Reportage And Promotion!
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    I can see the slight similarity between Kookaburra and Down-Under but, from memory the damages were only about 5% or so... Pretty sensible, I reckon.

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    Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch jim's Avatar
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    Actually Down Under could almost be called "Variations on Kookaburra". And you can hear the old tune in pretty much unaltered form at several points in the song.

    So a much clearer copyright infringement in Aust. law than anything in Arthur's post.

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    california is the most litigious region on earth, followed by NSW (2004 or so from memory) in terms of cases per head. Some one google it, if they can be bothered. I am very interested in the way NZ has a policy for accidental injury coverage much like out 3rd party car coverage but for everything. If anyone knows more about that, it sounds like a mighty fine idea.

    Sorry if that is a little off topic

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    Quote Originally Posted by WhoDo View Post
    Yeah, pretty stupid that one, Geoff. If it hadn't have been the Girl Guides (I think) it probably would have / should have been tossed out.
    Was a rather ridiculous decision that one (and occured in part due to the inopportune remarks of one of the band members on video back in the 80s), part of the reason the settlement was so small was it was a company who bought the rights and pursued the action only after it was suggested on a certain TV show years after acquiring the rights. Part of the problem is there are some very crazy judges out there...generally appeals help quash the utterly ridiculous, unless you do something stupid like Men at work.
    Last edited by Xebadir; 31-07-2011 at 11:44pm.

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