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5 famous copyright infringement cases (and what you can learn)

5 famous copyright infringement cases (and what you can learn)

All creatures and inventions are unique in their own way of the creator mind. The creativity and effort they put into creating the creature is priceless no one has the right to just copy and say that’s mine. Effort and time must be paid as debit to debut.

The term copyright was coined in 15th and 16th century by the England, English Parliament in the name of   License of the press act in 1662. Copyright mainly given based on the some feature like

1. Ownership – only the original holder can obtain or give the copyright licence.

2. Eligible works – initially it was restricted to creative works like art, artistic and intellectual works later being expanded to poem, plays, geography, photography, software and so on other creative fields.

3. Originality – the originality means it should have a minimal amount of information in order to avail for the copyright and it is given for a certain period of time only.

4. Registration – first the work must be registered in name of original creator and if copyrighting and then according to government rule in government office the registration must happen.

5. Fixing – is all about decisions taken by the members of the country in the international level in order to copyright their country work or not.

Let’s hear some of the infringement cases regarding the copyright

1. Rogers vs.Koons 

Roger, a great professional photographer, captured a photo where a woman and man holding the strings of puppies was shot in black and white. This picture was entitled on greeting cards and other generic merchandise. 

Jeff Koons, internationally known sculpture artist chose the same photo from one of the greeting cards to make it sculpture for one of the competitions based on the theme of banality. With little modification in it like the color of the puppies turned to blue and a nose was added with contrast of white color, the flowers were added on both sides of the hair.

The sculpture was made with a name with “String of puppies” sold for better prices.

Rogers found that it was similar to his photography and filed a petition on Koons regarding copyright infringement. Upon comparison the court decided about the fair use  copyright by Koons lead to the confidential settlement

2. Cariou vs. Prince

Patrik Cariou, a well known photographer in mid 1990’s, he lived and worked among the Rastafarians in Jamaica and made the series of portraits and published the book in 2000 with the title Yes Rasta.

Richard Prince, a known American painter and photographer in the mid 1970’s. In 2008 he created the cariou’s works recreation with a variety of changes like printing them, increasing them in size, blurring or sharpening, adding content , and sometimes compositing multiple photographs together or with other works.

In 2009, cariou filed a copyright infringement against Prince for one of his photographs. This case nearly took a second circuit over the court based on high support on both sides by photography team to cariou and art world interest over prince.

The court announced that the photograph was in fair use and denied the cariou’s petition and they both settled the matter in 2004.

3. GUI crash between Apple and Microsoft

Apple, a american multinational company that designs and develops the consumers electronic goods and  also provides services. In the 1980’s it introduced the graphical user interface.

Microsoft, a american multinational technology company that designs and provides the service for electronic devices. And in 1985 was launched Ms-Dos GUI operating system.

Overlapping windows and other features found in the Macintosh GUI comparing the Apple GUI features, Apple filed suit of copyright infringement with tech argument.

Microsoft helped develop Macintosh, Jean-Louis Gassée, who had taken over from Steve Jobs at the time, then Gassee to avoid the lawsuit ended up agreeing to license the Mac’s visual displays.

In 1988 it led to the long battle of six-years in the court over Apple; the court ruled that 179 of the 189 disputed displays were covered by the existing license, finally after years the lawsuit was decided in favour of Microsoft in 1993.

4. David Bowie/Queen vs. Vanilla Ice

Rober Matthew Van Winkle popularly known as Vanilla Ice, a american rapper,actor and television host. 

David Rober Jones namely known as David Bowie, well known singer-songwriter, and an actor. 20th century influential musician. Queen is an british rock band formed in the London year of 1970.

In 1991 the song which stole millions of people’s heart was Ice Ice Baby by vanilla ice. The performance wasn’t the problem; the lyrics of the starting song was borrowed from the old song written by the David Bowie song under pressure. So  David filed a copyright infringement against vanilla ice for not giving the credit. 

As it approached the formal court the issue was solved between the two with some credits and shares.

5. Gucci vs Guess

Gucci is a luxury fashion forum originated from Florence, Italy. They design the product from ready-to-wear to complete home decoration materials. Running as one of the well known brands nowadays.

guess , is american clothing and accessory brand with retailing also. 

In year 2009 gucci filed the case of copyrighting against the guess regarding the logo infringement and over the last 10 years it has filed 12 copyrighting cases against guess in order of their designs ever again, primarily the Quattro G patterns in brown and beige colours and the CRG stripe.

The case was filed against but due to the non-spectaculars evidence the case didn’t run too long and they were summoned with some amount.

Nowadays people are endlessly creative in order to find solutions to usual or unusual problems. Or they want to come up with different things  to show that they are different. And some people are just happy by stealing others’ work and taking the credits as if they struggled for it to do. In order to avoid those  who unintentionally modify the original works and without even credit of the creator they publish as there’s in order to avoid those the term of copyright was coined. Copyright gives the authority of right to distribute to the original works such as books, music, movies, photographs, drawings, paintings, architectures, performance, maps, sketches, plans and many more things that fall under creative work. And with single registration anyone can  copyright their work. Keep in mind every creativity has its own stand and effort.

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1 thought on “5 famous copyright infringement cases (and what you can learn)

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    Good article and right to the point. I don’t know if this is really the best place to ask but do you folks have any thoughts on where to employ some professional writers? Thanks in advance 🙂


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