7 thoughts on “So much for “there’s no copyright in ideas”

  1. Armin says:

    Surely there is prior art out there? This type of picture has been around forever, probably even before Photoshop was invented…

  2. Gary says:

    You’d think so, wouldn’t you?

    It looks like libel in miniature: faced with a £5K infringement claim, are you going to fight it in court or just roll over?

  3. Squander Two says:

    I am reminded of the cunning ploy the owners of major landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower have come up with. Your building is part of the landscape and everyone’s allowed to photograph it and, if they wish, sell the photos without giving you a cut. So you stick a bloody great bit of original artwork onto your building so that no-one can sell a photograph of the building without infringing the artwork’s copyright. In the case of the Eiffel Tower, they commissioned fancy lighting from an artist so that night-time shots of the Tower now include the copyrighted lighting and you have to pay for the right to sell postcards. Sneaky and nasty.

  4. mupwangle says:

    I was under the impression that this was the law anyway. A photograph is copyrightable (is that even a word?) and trying to recreate one yourself for commercial purposes was an offence. I’m sure there’s case law for this somewhere – I’ve seen similar things on the flickr forums.

  5. mupwangle says:

    If you read the judgement, it looks like they’d already settled a case of infringement with a previous image and had deliberately set about recreating a similar image that was just different enough to not be infringing (or so they thought). I would suggest that this only sets a precedent in such circumstances where it can be proved that the infringer was aware of the prior art.

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