Banksy’s graffiti: protected as copyrighted works or trademarks?
The world known anonymous street artist Banksy recently opened a shop in South London that is closed for the public. In fact, it is only a storefront, in which different rather unusual products are exhibited. They can be bought on the artist’s newly established online store. In the background of these openings by the activist, who is generally against intellectual property and its commercialisation, are legal procedures regarding the protection of Banksy’s works and his name.
In a dispute that took place before the court of Milan this year, Banksy, or rather the company that represents his works, filed a lawsuit against the organiser of an exhibition of his works. The court concluded that the sale of merchandise incorporating his famous Flower Thrower constitutes trademark infringement as this work had been registered as such. The court also implied that Banksy will have to use the mark (sell products) on the market, if he wants to maintain the trademark. On the other hand, the court did not enforce copyrights on the works without revealing his identity. Despite the fact that some criticise Banksy’s hypocrisy regarding intellectual property rights, what remains worrying is that the court apparently do not have sufficient mechanisms to safeguard the author’s right to remain anonymous and the right to pseudonym. If the author cannot efficiently enforce those moral rights, they can be considered hollow.
The Internet Archive will file an appeal against an unfair decision that ignores the value of the libraries’ work
The Internet Archive is a non-profit organization that maintains the Open Library, a digital library index, and is dedicated to preserving knowledge. As many of the works in the Internet Archive are under copyright, the Archive uses a system of controlled digital lending based on digital rights management to prevent unauthorized downloading or copying of copyrighted books. In March 2020, due to the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the Internet Archive established the National Emergency Library, eliminating the waiting lists used in the Open Library and expanding access to books for all readers. In June 2020, the Emergency National Library faced a lawsuit from four book publishers and was ultimately closed.
The 43rd session of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (hereinafter SCCR) made substantial progress on the issues advocated by the A2K Coalition (Access to Knowledge Coalition), which IPI is a member of. This year’s session was the most productive on the issues of exceptions and limitations. James Love (Knowledge Ecology International), a long-time observer at WIPO, described the outcome and the impact of the public interest community as the strongest since the conclusion of the Marrakech Treaty, which brought global copyright exceptions for the benefit of the blind and visually impaired.
Today, March 17, 2023, a symposium on law in the information society is taking place in the golden lecture hall of the Faculty of Law in Ljubljana. Dr. Maja Bogataj Jančič will present copyright aspects of artificial intelligence at the symposium.
The third day of the 43rd session of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights is intended for discussion on the topic of exceptions and limitations to copyright, especially in connection with the right to research.