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.
Yesterday, 2 December 2019 Communia launched the Guidelines for the Implementation of the DSM Directive. Ben White, LIBER and our Dr. Maja Bogataj Jančič, IPI, coauthored guidelines for Articles 3 and 4 of the DSM Directive. Article 3 and 4 introduce exceptions and limitations for text and data mining (TDM). Exceptions allow for reproduction of copyright works and other subject matter and extraction and/or re-utilization of the whole or of a substantial part of the contents of a work subject to the sui generis database right.
Yesterday Communia released the guidelines for implementation of the Directive on copyright and related rights in the digital single market (DSM directive). These guidelines explain different provisions of the new DSM Directive and make suggestions on what to advocate for during the implementation process of those provisions in the EU Member States.
The “Neues Museum” in Berlin keeps amongst its collection of ancient Egypt works a more than 3000 years old bust of Nefertiti, the wife of pharaoh Amenophis IV. Recently, the museum has scanned the statue with the help of 3D technology and recreated a digital copy. This replica was then made available under the terms of Creative Commons BY-NC-SA licence. This means that the rights have to be attributed to the museum, the work can be used for non-commercial purposes only and that it has to be shared under the same licence. Is this permitted?
During 21. and 23. November the International Programs in Law of the Kyushu University’s Faculty of Law organized the conference Multidisciplinary perspectives on algorithms. Tjaša Zapušek, research assistant at IPI presented recent findings of her PhD research at University of Zürich.