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A copyright question


Carabosse 16 41.3k 270 England
27 Feb 2009 7:13PM

Quote:A 'star' lets say for example Amy Winehouse, has created an artistic style ie herself, could by selling pictures of her you be breaching her copyright


So far as I know you can't copyright yourself! Wink

It would have to be something a bit more specific.

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Krakman 13 3.6k Scotland
27 Feb 2009 8:09PM

Quote:Didn't the estates of Princess Diana and Elvis attempt to stop people using their likenesses on products?


I believe so... and they failed. Speaking personally I believe that my own face is a work of art, but don't think Amy Winehouse's could possibly fall into that category. Wink
Krakman 13 3.6k Scotland
27 Feb 2009 8:11PM
Could be, but guess she'd then have to use it on all her stationery. And it would only apply to that particular design/image used (which is protected by copyright anyway) not other images of the face.
Krakman 13 3.6k Scotland
27 Feb 2009 8:14PM
Krakman 13 3.6k Scotland
27 Feb 2009 8:22PM
I think the Diana Fund were just trying to stop people using specific iconic photographs of her on mugs, posters, souvenirs etc. So they tried to register those particular photos as trademarks. And their application was rejected.

You would think that making mugs etc. out of them would be a breach of the photographer's copyright, but maybe there was a reason why they didn't want to go that route (eg. they wanted to be able to sue directly without involving the photographer, or maybe damages for copyright wouldn't be enough, or maybe there was some other reason).
Krakman 13 3.6k Scotland
27 Feb 2009 8:29PM
Did you read the previous link that I posted? 'Cos it's also a BBC news report - a later one - which is about the rejection of that same application. And the second news report says that they were trying to trademark 52 photographs of her, not her likeness. So it looks like the other BBC news report was innacurate. Probably because the journalists had little information until the actual application was heard and rejected:-

"The Memorial Fund, which had wanted to clamp down on an unofficial Diana industry, had applied to protect 52 different pictures of the late princess"

"Although the application was 52 images of Diana, in practice it could well have put a stop to any unauthorised use of her image. "
Krakman 13 3.6k Scotland
27 Feb 2009 8:36PM
In other words: you can't trademark someone's face.

They didn't even bother trying to argue her face is protected by copyright, because a face can't be.
Krakman 13 3.6k Scotland
27 Feb 2009 8:39PM
I know, I tried to sneak it in there to catch you out Wink

Yup, looks like it was a backdoor attempt to trademark her face - but the conclusion was, you can't do it.

With Elvis - who knows, it was in the US, they get up to all sorts of strange things there. Wink
Krakman 13 3.6k Scotland
27 Feb 2009 8:56PM
Did a bit of Googling about Elvis and trademarks and could only find a case about use of his name - the Elvis estate tried to trademark the words "Elvis Presley" and failed, like Diana. But maybe I just didn't Google far enough!


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