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(Guardian)   Lego sued over designer jacket featured on a minifig. That's so punk   (theguardian.com) divider line
    More: Awkward, Lego, Toy, James Concannon, Customer service, leather jacket, Netflix show, popular program, The Jacket  
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2569 clicks; posted to Fandom » and Business » on 17 Jan 2022 at 9:20 AM (30 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2022-01-17 9:04:10 AM  
Funny how people claim damages when they get free publicity. Of course, in their mind, the Legos have achieved unparalleled success that would never have been possible without the special designer touch that draws people in.
 
2022-01-17 9:27:20 AM  
If LEGO licensed the show, how could that license not cover the use of visual contents and props? If anything, the lawsuit would be with Netflix for failing to communicate items that needed a separate license.

This smells more like a bad publicity stunt than a genuine lawsuit.
 
2022-01-17 9:41:38 AM  

edmo: Funny how people claim damages when they get free publicity. Of course, in their mind, the Legos have achieved unparalleled success that would never have been possible without the special designer touch that draws people in.


This is the exposure argument.  People should get paid for things they create, period.
 
2022-01-17 9:47:08 AM  
Hello rare piece, when LEGO cancels it to avoid any more damages.
 
2022-01-17 9:48:38 AM  
Lego - PAH!
Meccano - the perfect assembly toy for budding engineers & super-villains.
Fark user imageView Full Size

'His name is "Killbert". He's going to help me rob the sweet shop & assassinate the headmaster.'
 
2022-01-17 9:56:54 AM  
He's admitting he created that eyesore?

/that's one fugly jacket
 
2022-01-17 10:04:44 AM  

mjbok: edmo: Funny how people claim damages when they get free publicity. Of course, in their mind, the Legos have achieved unparalleled success that would never have been possible without the special designer touch that draws people in.

This is the exposure argument.  People should get paid for things they create, period.


By my eye, it's clearly Lego was inspired by his jacket but also that Lego has paid careful attention to the to be legally distinct. Zippers aligned in the opposite direction. Changing logos (yin/yang wtih faces, for a thing with a face; a circle with arms and text for a globe; the skull logo for a lego skull), omitting prominent text, nothing on the sleeves, the way the jacket opens.

The changes he's made to a traditional leather jacket are probably not actually there on the Lego version, notwithstanding the clear inspiration. Going to be a tough fight.
 
2022-01-17 10:11:17 AM  
Looks like a derivative work to me.  Not a lawyer, but there are a ton of changes on that jacket from its inspiration.  I'm willing to bet Lego's lawyers knew exactly how many changes were necessary to clear copyright infringement and then had the designers add one or two more to make sure it cleared.
 
2022-01-17 10:15:18 AM  

Jamesac68: Looks like a derivative work to me.  Not a lawyer, but there are a ton of changes on that jacket from its inspiration.  I'm willing to bet Lego's lawyers knew exactly how many changes were necessary to clear copyright infringement and then had the designers add one or two more to make sure it cleared.


Agreed; it looks like Concannon is looking for an out-of-court payday and targeted a whale.

If LEGO is feeling vindictive, Ishmael is going down, and I see no reason why they wouldn't.
 
2022-01-17 10:17:17 AM  

mjbok: edmo: Funny how people claim damages when they get free publicity. Of course, in their mind, the Legos have achieved unparalleled success that would never have been possible without the special designer touch that draws people in.

This is the exposure argument.  People should get paid for things they create, period.


That line of logic is why we have TV shows where every sign, face, and logo is blurred out. Someday, once all the chips are implanted, we'll all be automatically charged a fee when we read billboards.
 
2022-01-17 10:18:07 AM  

ajgeek: Jamesac68: Looks like a derivative work to me.  Not a lawyer, but there are a ton of changes on that jacket from its inspiration.  I'm willing to bet Lego's lawyers knew exactly how many changes were necessary to clear copyright infringement and then had the designers add one or two more to make sure it cleared.

Agreed; it looks like Concannon is looking for an out-of-court payday and targeted a whale.

If LEGO is feeling vindictive, Ishmael is going down, and I see no reason why they wouldn't.


We resemble but are legally distinct from the Lollipop Guild...
Youtube 6_HBmZuJlHs
 
2022-01-17 10:39:17 AM  

EvilEgg: Hello rare piece, when LEGO cancels it to avoid any more damages.


Fark user imageView Full Size

I'm no expert, but the only set I see on BrickLink has the guy in question (Porowski) in something different
 
2022-01-17 10:51:12 AM  

clkeagle: This smells more like a bad publicity stunt than a genuine lawsuit.


And we're done.
 
2022-01-17 10:52:30 AM  

mjbok: edmo: Funny how people claim damages when they get free publicity. Of course, in their mind, the Legos have achieved unparalleled success that would never have been possible without the special designer touch that draws people in.

This is the exposure argument.  People should get paid for things they create, period.


Fark user imageView Full Size

Tell that to Bill Watterson
 
2022-01-17 10:57:08 AM  

clkeagle: If LEGO licensed the show, how could that license not cover the use of visual contents and props? If anything, the lawsuit would be with Netflix for failing to communicate items that needed a separate license.

This smells more like a bad publicity stunt than a genuine lawsuit.


I'm sure they will come to an agreement but it is always frustrating when one smaller party can crash an entire show/rerun/project. And in the age of multimedia crossovers I'm surprised going forward more contracts don't have STFU boilerplate or something. This isn't like the olden days when no one realized all sorts of bit appearances or stock footage like in old Batman or shows that have a bunch of music no one knows who has the rights to
 
2022-01-17 11:25:18 AM  
Lego should send him a box with assorted pieces, tell him to construct a fist and shove it up his ass.
 
2022-01-17 11:32:28 AM  

mjbok: edmo: Funny how people claim damages when they get free publicity. Of course, in their mind, the Legos have achieved unparalleled success that would never have been possible without the special designer touch that draws people in.

This is the exposure argument.  People should get paid for things they create, period.


Presumably, he was paid.  By the guy who asked him to make the jacket.
 
2022-01-17 11:55:42 AM  

WhiskeySticks: Lego should send him a box with assorted pieces, tell him to construct a fist and shove it up his ass.


I'm sure Lego probably even has a special team that they send in for cases like this.  The team sneaks into the guy's house as he sleeps, scatters fifteen thousand bricks over his floors and then yells "fire!"
 
2022-01-17 12:17:10 PM  

hammettman: WhiskeySticks: Lego should send him a box with assorted pieces, tell him to construct a fist and shove it up his ass.

I'm sure Lego probably even has a special team that they send in for cases like this.  The team sneaks into the guy's house as he sleeps, scatters fifteen thousand bricks over his floors and then yells "fire!"


have the pieces been tossed liberally in itching powder?
 
2022-01-17 12:32:41 PM  
Dude has to be quite desperate to admit making that hideous jacket.
Even the kids who listened to Blink-182 and Sum 41 think that jacket is for posers.
 
2022-01-17 1:14:15 PM  

mjbok: edmo: Funny how people claim damages when they get free publicity. Of course, in their mind, the Legos have achieved unparalleled success that would never have been possible without the special designer touch that draws people in.

This is the exposure argument.  People should get paid for things they create, period.


Lego's argument seems to be that they licensed rights from Netflix to make a Lego set of the show. Since he wore the jacket on the show the rights to replicate it are inherent. His real beef should be with Netflix who are selling rights to things he claims they don't own.
 
2022-01-17 1:20:20 PM  

edmo: Funny how people claim damages when they get free publicity. Of course, in their mind, the Legos have achieved unparalleled success that would never have been possible without the special designer touch that draws people in.


Artists don't work for "exposure," though. One of his designs is making someone else money.
 
2022-01-17 1:21:02 PM  

mjbok: edmo: Funny how people claim damages when they get free publicity. Of course, in their mind, the Legos have achieved unparalleled success that would never have been possible without the special designer touch that draws people in.

This is the exposure argument.  People should get paid for things they create, period.


even when the artist gives it away?

FTA
"Porowski and Concannon later became friends, with Porowski sending Concannon the jacket to create a custom design for him in 2018.
The following year, Porowski wore the jacket in an episode in the show's fourth season."

it was Porowski's jacket, his friend did some customizing to it for him, apparently for free (even if Porowski paid Concannon) so Porowski owns the jacket and rights to the custom design the way I see it

who gets the rights to the Marilyn pic with her dress flowing in the updraft from a subway grating?

I don't think it's the designer of the dress
 
2022-01-17 1:21:43 PM  

edmo: mjbok: edmo: Funny how people claim damages when they get free publicity. Of course, in their mind, the Legos have achieved unparalleled success that would never have been possible without the special designer touch that draws people in.

This is the exposure argument.  People should get paid for things they create, period.

That line of logic is why we have TV shows where every sign, face, and logo is blurred out. Someday, once all the chips are implanted, we'll all be automatically charged a fee when we read billboards.


So you're doubling down on the "Stop complaining, you're getting exposure" argument? Okay.
 
2022-01-17 1:35:19 PM  

petec: who gets the rights to the Marilyn pic with her dress flowing in the updraft from a subway grating?


I think Shaq bought those rights.  For reals.
 
2022-01-17 1:35:36 PM  

mjbok: edmo: Funny how people claim damages when they get free publicity. Of course, in their mind, the Legos have achieved unparalleled success that would never have been possible without the special designer touch that draws people in.

This is the exposure argument.  People should get paid for things they create, period.


Yup.
I believe ol' Harlan had something to say about the horseshiat that is "exposure"
Harlan Ellison -- Pay the Writer
Youtube mj5IV23g-fE
 
2022-01-17 1:36:42 PM  

austerity101: Artists don't work for "exposure," though. One of his designs is making someone else money.


One his his designs that he gave away.

He gave away the jacket.  The person who he gave it to owns the jacket now, so they get to control the rights.  You can't give something away and then try and take it back because you think you could make money after somebody else generated exposure of it.
 
2022-01-17 1:49:02 PM  

austerity101: edmo: Funny how people claim damages when they get free publicity. Of course, in their mind, the Legos have achieved unparalleled success that would never have been possible without the special designer touch that draws people in.

Artists don't work for "exposure," though. One of his designs is making someone else money.


except this artist previously 'sold' his artwork for 'exposure'

"James Concannon, whose clothes have been regularly worn by Porowski on the popular program..."

"In the lawsuit, Concannon alleges that Netflix had consistently asked him for his consent to show his clothes in Queer Eye episodes since 2017, which he gave."

it was nice that they asked, and if Concannon had loaned the clothes to Porowski, I could see 'ownership' getting you some rights/credit/cash

but Porowski owned the jacket, not Concannon

instead of Porowski buying them
 
2022-01-17 1:50:44 PM  
petec: instead of Porowski buying them

leftover from a previous train of thought
 
2022-01-17 2:17:56 PM  

petec: austerity101: edmo: Funny how people claim damages when they get free publicity. Of course, in their mind, the Legos have achieved unparalleled success that would never have been possible without the special designer touch that draws people in.

Artists don't work for "exposure," though. One of his designs is making someone else money.

except this artist previously 'sold' his artwork for 'exposure'

"James Concannon, whose clothes have been regularly worn by Porowski on the popular program..."

"In the lawsuit, Concannon alleges that Netflix had consistently asked him for his consent to show his clothes in Queer Eye episodes since 2017, which he gave."

it was nice that they asked, and if Concannon had loaned the clothes to Porowski, I could see 'ownership' getting you some rights/credit/cash

but Porowski owned the jacket, not Concannon

instead of Porowski buying them


Sooo lemme see if I got what you're saying. Let's say...Adidas, gives me this jacket:
i.pinimg.comView Full Size



Mine, right? Adidas gave it to me. Now comes Lego, and they copy it for one of their little sets.
Totally cool, right?
 
2022-01-17 2:23:23 PM  

Krazikarl: You can't give something away and then try and take it back because you think you could make money after somebody else generated exposure of it.


People who send nude selfies disagree.
 
2022-01-17 2:34:48 PM  

Bslim: Sooo lemme see if I got what you're saying. Let's say...Adidas, gives me this jacket:
[i.pinimg.com image 480x480]
Mine, right? Adidas gave it to me. Now comes Lego, and they copy it for one of their little sets.
Totally cool, right?


There's a big difference between unauthorized use of an established brand or use of something that was a one-off custom without visible branding.

For example, getting a license for sets based on the movie E.T. wouldn't automatically allow LEGO to print 1x2 tiles as packs of Reese's Pieces. But it absolutely would give them license to create figures based on custom costumes made for the movie. See also: the "Skull" and "Death Rock" shirts worn by Beavis and Butthead in licensed merchandise.

Concannon is trying to claim brand-level license protection for a one-off custom piece. I don't think he can claim that he is an established brand along the lines of your Adidas example, nor can he claim that the minifigure is close enough that it crosses the threshold from derivative work to plagiarism.
 
2022-01-17 2:47:07 PM  

Bslim: petec: austerity101: edmo: Funny how people claim damages when they get free publicity. Of course, in their mind, the Legos have achieved unparalleled success that would never have been possible without the special designer touch that draws people in.

Artists don't work for "exposure," though. One of his designs is making someone else money.

except this artist previously 'sold' his artwork for 'exposure'

"James Concannon, whose clothes have been regularly worn by Porowski on the popular program..."

"In the lawsuit, Concannon alleges that Netflix had consistently asked him for his consent to show his clothes in Queer Eye episodes since 2017, which he gave."

it was nice that they asked, and if Concannon had loaned the clothes to Porowski, I could see 'ownership' getting you some rights/credit/cash

but Porowski owned the jacket, not Concannon

instead of Porowski buying them

Sooo lemme see if I got what you're saying. Let's say...Adidas, gives me this jacket:
[i.pinimg.com image 480x480]


Mine, right? Adidas gave it to me. Now comes Lego, and they copy it for one of their little sets.
Totally cool, right?


it's a custom one off, done to a jacket someone else owned

lets say I get a tattoo by banksy, then I get my picture taken while displaying that tattoo, does banksy get any say/rights/compensation to that pic?
 
2022-01-17 2:57:31 PM  

petec: Bslim: petec: austerity101: edmo: Funny how people claim damages when they get free publicity. Of course, in their mind, the Legos have achieved unparalleled success that would never have been possible without the special designer touch that draws people in.

Artists don't work for "exposure," though. One of his designs is making someone else money.

except this artist previously 'sold' his artwork for 'exposure'

"James Concannon, whose clothes have been regularly worn by Porowski on the popular program..."

"In the lawsuit, Concannon alleges that Netflix had consistently asked him for his consent to show his clothes in Queer Eye episodes since 2017, which he gave."

it was nice that they asked, and if Concannon had loaned the clothes to Porowski, I could see 'ownership' getting you some rights/credit/cash

but Porowski owned the jacket, not Concannon

instead of Porowski buying them

Sooo lemme see if I got what you're saying. Let's say...Adidas, gives me this jacket:
[i.pinimg.com image 480x480]


Mine, right? Adidas gave it to me. Now comes Lego, and they copy it for one of their little sets.
Totally cool, right?

it's a custom one off, done to a jacket someone else owned

lets say I get a tattoo by banksy, then I get my picture taken while displaying that tattoo, does banksy get any say/rights/compensation to that pic?


ok, maybe not the best comparison, try this one...

once I have the bansky tattoo, lego makes a minifig of me, with the tattoo

does banskey gets rights/royalties to the minfig?
 
2022-01-17 2:57:59 PM  
The minifig is satire. It's parody. The test is not whether a new thing looks like a protected thing. The standard is whether there are nine differences between the real thing and the derivative work.
 
2022-01-17 3:08:59 PM  

Dear Jerk: The minifig is satire. It's parody. The test is not whether a new thing looks like a protected thing. The standard is whether there are nine differences between the real thing and the derivative work.


I doubt that would work for Star Wars.
 
2022-01-17 3:12:06 PM  

Krazikarl: He gave away the jacket.  The person who he gave it to owns the jacket now, so they get to control the rights.  You can't give something away and then try and take it back because you think you could make money after somebody else generated exposure of it.


He gave away that jacket, not the underlying copyright. If I give you a copy of my new book, that doesn't mean you get to run off a thousand copies and distribute them, or option a movie based on it. And more fundamentally, 17 USC 204 requires that to be valid, an assignment of copyrights must be in writing.

And as long as we're making confidently incorrect statements about the law...

Dear Jerk: The minifig is satire. It's parody. The test is not whether a new thing looks like a protected thing. The standard is whether there are nine differences between the real thing and the derivative work.


Aside from confusing satire and parody, you also appear to be confusing independent authorship and Slylock Fox's Mystery Puzzles.
 
2022-01-17 3:58:06 PM  

Theaetetus: Krazikarl: He gave away the jacket.  The person who he gave it to owns the jacket now, so they get to control the rights.  You can't give something away and then try and take it back because you think you could make money after somebody else generated exposure of it.

He gave away that jacket, not the underlying copyright. If I give you a copy of my new book, that doesn't mean you get to run off a thousand copies and distribute them, or option a movie based on it. And more fundamentally, 17 USC 204 requires that to be valid, an assignment of copyrights must be in writing.

And as long as we're making confidently incorrect statements about the law...
Dear Jerk: The minifig is satire. It's parody. The test is not whether a new thing looks like a protected thing. The standard is whether there are nine differences between the real thing and the derivative work.

Aside from confusing satire and parody, you also appear to be confusing independent authorship and Slylock Fox's Mystery Puzzles.


Clothing designs don't have copyright protection in the United States:

https://copyrightalliance.org/education/qa-headlines/copyright-fashion-designs/

You can copyright artwork used on the clothing and trademark logos, but and other design elements, but Lego charged up the details enough that is unlikely that there would be a claim that wouldn't be summarily dismissed.
 
2022-01-17 4:36:14 PM  

Cajnik: EvilEgg: Hello rare piece, when LEGO cancels it to avoid any more damages.

[Fark user image image 397x750]
I'm no expert, but the only set I see on BrickLink has the guy in question (Porowski) in something different


The jacket piece is part of the Queer Eye loft set. And still pretty cheap.

https://www.bricklink.com/v2/catalog/catalogitem.page?id=207078&idColor=11&view=buy&ccName=6353708#T=S&C=11&O={%22color%22:11,%22ss%22:%22US%22,%22cond%22:%22N%22,%22iconly%22:0}
 
2022-01-17 4:42:13 PM  

austerity101: edmo: Funny how people claim damages when they get free publicity. Of course, in their mind, the Legos have achieved unparalleled success that would never have been possible without the special designer touch that draws people in.

Artists don't work for "exposure," though. One of his designs is making someone else money.


most successful artist have worked for exposure at some point

it's why this clothes designer had no problem when the actor was just wearing his stuff

but now the actor when big time with a Lego minifig, not the clothes designer

If Lego did a Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band set, would Levi's get some royalties because Bruce was wearing denim colored pants?
 
2022-01-17 4:55:15 PM  

Mad_Radhu: Clothing designs don't have copyright protection in the United States:

https://copyrightalliance.org/education/qa-headlines/copyright-fashion-designs/


From your link: Copyright law protects the designs on the surface of clothing just as it protects designs on the surface of a canvas or sheet of paper. The U.S. Supreme Court also addressed this issue in Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands, stating that "two-dimensional designs appearing on the surface of [clothing]" including "combinations, positionings, and arrangements" of shapes, colors, lines, etc. are protectable by copyright.

So... yeah.
Also, not sure why you were posting this in reply to me, except to provide another example of "confidently incorrect". Even if you were correct, which your own link refutes, it wouldn't invalidate anything I said.

You can copyright artwork used on the clothing and trademark logos, but and other design elements, but Lego charged up the details enough that is unlikely that there would be a claim that wouldn't be summarily dismissed.

And that's the only important part. Dear Jerk above thought there was a magic "9 differences" test, but that's not true. There is no bright line test for whether something qualifies as a protected derivative work or an independent act of authorship, and it really has to do with whether there is "substantial similarity", and what's "substantial"? That's subjective. See, e.g.: https://www.gerbenlaw.com/blog/the-30-percent-rule-in-copyright-law/

Fark user imageView Full Size


If you squint, the Lego jacket looks a lot like the real jacket. If you look closely, you'll see that the original skull is now a minifig head; the yin-yang is another head; the fists and chains is now a world map. But copyright infringement doesn't necessarily require using a magnifying glass. You could take Harry Potter and do a global find/replace to call him Larry Kotter, but that doesn't mean you no longer infringe. Heck, rename all the characters. Rename Hogwarts as Bogdarts. Make Malfoy a ginger. You could easily provide dozens of differences that are nonetheless don't escape "substantial similarity". No one is going to say that "Larry Kotter and the Cup of Flames" isn't based on Harry Potter.

Add to that the fact that this isn't just a Lego figure in a vacuum, but in context, is part of a set based on that specific television show and that specific host that wore that specific jacket. This isn't "generic Lego punk jacket", but "Antoni Porowski Minifig", and it's tough to see how the Lego minifig is not a derivative work.

Now, that said, I think the much stronger argument is that this is a part of the show, and Lego's license from Netflix covers this, and Concannon may only have rights against Netflix or even just Porowski (although he likely did grant an implied license to publicly display the work). This is similar to the Solid Oak Sketches v. 2K Gamessuit over the reproduction of player tattoos in NBA 2K. Part of that decision hinged on both implied licenses and fair use (note - not that they were protected parody, but rather the purpose in displaying them in accurately reproducing the player).

So, tl;dr: the artist certainly has copyright rights in the design of the jacket, and copyright does indeed apply to graphic designs; and Lego's block would likely be considered a derivative work, but they have other strong defenses for liability.
 
2022-01-17 4:55:15 PM  

Bslim: petec: austerity101: edmo: Funny how people claim damages when they get free publicity. Of course, in their mind, the Legos have achieved unparalleled success that would never have been possible without the special designer touch that draws people in.

Artists don't work for "exposure," though. One of his designs is making someone else money.

except this artist previously 'sold' his artwork for 'exposure'

"James Concannon, whose clothes have been regularly worn by Porowski on the popular program..."

"In the lawsuit, Concannon alleges that Netflix had consistently asked him for his consent to show his clothes in Queer Eye episodes since 2017, which he gave."

it was nice that they asked, and if Concannon had loaned the clothes to Porowski, I could see 'ownership' getting you some rights/credit/cash

but Porowski owned the jacket, not Concannon

instead of Porowski buying them

Sooo lemme see if I got what you're saying. Let's say...Adidas, gives me this jacket:
[i.pinimg.com image 480x480]


Mine, right? Adidas gave it to me. Now comes Lego, and they copy it for one of their little sets.
Totally cool, right?


do you think Lego didn't do due diligence?

if Lego wants it, they know how to do it the right way

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-01-17 4:59:08 PM  
To The Escape Zeppelin!:

He sent the jacket as a gift.

Implied consent for promotion.
 
2022-01-17 5:00:35 PM  

Theaetetus: Mad_Radhu: Clothing designs don't have copyright protection in the United States:

https://copyrightalliance.org/education/qa-headlines/copyright-fashion-designs/

From your link: Copyright law protects the designs on the surface of clothing just as it protects designs on the surface of a canvas or sheet of paper. The U.S. Supreme Court also addressed this issue in Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands, stating that "two-dimensional designs appearing on the surface of [clothing]" including "combinations, positionings, and arrangements" of shapes, colors, lines, etc. are protectable by copyright.

So... yeah.
Also, not sure why you were posting this in reply to me, except to provide another example of "confidently incorrect". Even if you were correct, which your own link refutes, it wouldn't invalidate anything I said.

You can copyright artwork used on the clothing and trademark logos, but and other design elements, but Lego charged up the details enough that is unlikely that there would be a claim that wouldn't be summarily dismissed.

And that's the only important part. Dear Jerk above thought there was a magic "9 differences" test, but that's not true. There is no bright line test for whether something qualifies as a protected derivative work or an independent act of authorship, and it really has to do with whether there is "substantial similarity", and what's "substantial"? That's subjective. See, e.g.: https://www.gerbenlaw.com/blog/the-30-percent-rule-in-copyright-law/

[Fark user image image 850x510]

If you squint, the Lego jacket looks a lot like the real jacket. If you look closely, you'll see that the original skull is now a minifig head; the yin-yang is another head; the fists and chains is now a world map. But copyright infringement doesn't necessarily require using a magnifying glass. You could take Harry Potter and do a global find/replace to call him Larry Kotter, but that doesn't mean you no longer infringe. Heck, rename all the characters. Rename Hogwarts as Bogdarts. Make Malfoy a ginger. You could easily provide dozens of differences that are nonetheless don't escape "substantial similarity". No one is going to say that "Larry Kotter and the Cup of Flames" isn't based on Harry Potter.

Add to that the fact that this isn't just a Lego figure in a vacuum, but in context, is part of a set based on that specific television show and that specific host that wore that specific jacket. This isn't "generic Lego punk jacket", but "Antoni Porowski Minifig", and it's tough to see how the Lego minifig is not a derivative work.

Now, that said, I think the much stronger argument is that this is a part of the show, and Lego's license from Netflix covers this, and Concannon may only have rights against Netflix or even just Porowski (although he likely did grant an implied license to publicly display the work). This is similar to the Solid Oak Sketches v. 2K Gamessuit over the reproduction of player tattoos in NBA 2K. Part of that decision hinged on both implied licenses and fair use (note - not that they were protected parody, but rather the purpose in displaying them in accurately reproducing the player).

So, tl;dr: the artist certainly has copyright rights in the design of the jacket, and copyright does indeed apply to graphic designs; and Lego's block would likely be considered a derivative work, but they have other strong defenses for liability.


I suggest you do a GIS of the real jacket pic

it's not like a leather jacket with random patches and buttons is an original concept
 
2022-01-17 5:01:52 PM  
clkeagle:

Plus the rest box would just pe an orange box with yellow and brown dots on it.
 
2022-01-17 5:03:06 PM  

AuralArgument: To The Escape Zeppelin!:

He sent the jacket as a gift.

Implied consent for promotion.


Likely, yep. From that Solid Oak case I mentioned:
Here, the undisputed factual record clearly supports the reasonable inference that the tattooists necessarily granted the Players nonexclusive licenses to use the Tattoos as part of their likenesses, and did so prior to any grant of rights in the Tattoos to Plaintiff. According to the declarations of Messrs. Thomas, Cornett, and Morris, (i) the Players each requested the creation of the Tattoos, (ii) the tattooists created the Tattoos and delivered them to the Players by inking the designs onto their skin, and (iii) the tattooists intended the Players to copy and distribute the Tattoos as elements of their likenesses, each knowing that the Players were likely to appear "in public, on television, in commercials, or in other forms of media." (Declaration of Justin Wright ("Wright Decl."), Docket Entry No. 133, ¶ 10.) Thus, the Players, who were neither requested nor agreed to limit the display or depiction of the images tattooed onto their bodies, had implied licenses to use the Tattoos as elements of their likenesses. Defendants' right to use the Tattoos in depicting the Players derives from these implied licenses, which predate the licenses that Plaintiff obtained from the tattooists.
Solid Oak Sketches, LLC v. 2K Games, Inc.
, 449 F. Supp. 3d 333, 346 (S.D.N.Y. 2020)

Now, a jacket isn't the same as a tattoo, but it was definitely given with the intent that he wear it in public and/or on television, and there were no restrictions asked or offered.
 
2022-01-17 5:03:44 PM  

petec: I suggest you do a GIS of the real jacket pic


... There's a picture of it in the post you replied to.
 
2022-01-17 5:10:31 PM  

Krazikarl: austerity101: Artists don't work for "exposure," though. One of his designs is making someone else money.

One his his designs that he gave away.

He gave away the jacket.  The person who he gave it to owns the jacket now, so they get to control the rights.  You can't give something away and then try and take it back because you think you could make money after somebody else generated exposure of it.


That is very specifically, legally decided, no questions about it, not how copyright works.
 
2022-01-17 5:14:52 PM  

Theaetetus: petec: I suggest you do a GIS of the real jacket pic

... There's a picture of it in the post you replied to.


and if you GIS it you'll see it, and a whole lot of other leather jackets that look just like it, with very minor differences

this designer's jacket wasn't very original in the first place was my point

and he'd be in a hard place if the defense just did that GIS
 
2022-01-17 5:39:28 PM  

Theaetetus: Mad_Radhu: Clothing designs don't have copyright protection in the United States:

https://copyrightalliance.org/education/qa-headlines/copyright-fashion-designs/

From your link: Copyright law protects the designs on the surface of clothing just as it protects designs on the surface of a canvas or sheet of paper. The U.S. Supreme Court also addressed this issue in Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands, stating that "two-dimensional designs appearing on the surface of [clothing]" including "combinations, positionings, and arrangements" of shapes, colors, lines, etc. are protectable by copyright.

So... yeah.
Also, not sure why you were posting this in reply to me, except to provide another example of "confidently incorrect". Even if you were correct, which your own link refutes, it wouldn't invalidate anything I said.

You can copyright artwork used on the clothing and trademark logos, but and other design elements, but Lego charged up the details enough that is unlikely that there would be a claim that wouldn't be summarily dismissed.

And that's the only important part. Dear Jerk above thought there was a magic "9 differences" test, but that's not true. There is no bright line test for whether something qualifies as a protected derivative work or an independent act of authorship, and it really has to do with whether there is "substantial similarity", and what's "substantial"? That's subjective. See, e.g.: https://www.gerbenlaw.com/blog/the-30-percent-rule-in-copyright-law/

[Fark user image image 850x510]

If you squint, the Lego jacket looks a lot like the real jacket. If you look closely, you'll see that the original skull is now a minifig head; the yin-yang is another head; the fists and chains is now a world map. But copyright infringement doesn't necessarily require using a magnifying glass. You could take Harry Potter and do a global find/replace to call him Larry Kotter, but that doesn't mean you no longer infringe. Heck, rename all the characters. Rename Hogwarts as Bogdarts. Make Malfoy a ginger. You could easily provide dozens of differences that are nonetheless don't escape "substantial similarity". No one is going to say that "Larry Kotter and the Cup of Flames" isn't based on Harry Potter.

Add to that the fact that this isn't just a Lego figure in a vacuum, but in context, is part of a set based on that specific television show and that specific host that wore that specific jacket. This isn't "generic Lego punk jacket", but "Antoni Porowski Minifig", and it's tough to see how the Lego minifig is not a derivative work.

Now, that said, I think the much stronger argument is that this is a part of the show, and Lego's license from Netflix covers this, and Concannon may only have rights against Netflix or even just Porowski (although he likely did grant an implied license to publicly display the work). This is similar to the Solid Oak Sketches v. 2K Gamessuit over the reproduction of player tattoos in NBA 2K. Part of that decision hinged on both implied licenses and fair use (note - not that they were protected parody, but rather the purpose in displaying them in accurately reproducing the player).

So, tl;dr: the artist certainly has copyright rights in the design of the jacket, and copyright does indeed apply to graphic designs; and Lego's block would likely be considered a derivative work, but they have other strong defenses for liability.


A skull with RAW above and WAR below is protectable by copyright because it is a distinctive original design. A generic skull in Lego form placed in that area is not an infringement because skulls aren't an original creation, and neither is placing a globe where there was a different design with very different details. Clothing copyright is defined VERY narrowly.
 
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