Copyright

Whose Right Is It Anyway?: The Messy Intersection of Graffiti, Street Art, and Copyright Law

(Source) Unlike the drab billboards and miles of gray concrete known to punctuate urban landscapes, the splashes of color typical of murals and street art demand to be seen. Street art’s roots, however, are found in graffiti, a phenomenon where various structures are “tagged” with words, which has been viewed as a public nuisance and plays a symbolic role in the controversial broken windows theory of policing neighborhood blight and crime. Graffiti artists have gradually garnered a countercultural reputation for disrespecting private property rights since they see city structures as blank canvases. Los Angeles, for example, spends $7.5 million a year to eliminate graffiti, removing over thirty million square feet of it from over 600,000 spots in 2015. Authorship is typically accompanied by legal rights, but do ownership interests even exist for graffiti artists and can they enforce them?  Do they even want to? Cities generally criminalize graffiti as a form of vandalism, but whether an artist’s right to free expression can overcome this is less clear. Cities generally criminalize graffiti with various approaches: Los Angeles considers graffiti to be a nuisance, requiring owners to keep buildings free of graffiti while artists may face fines and imprisonment under the California [read more]

Fashion (Law) Forward: An Interview with Professor Susan Scafidi

(Source) Fashion (Law) Forward: An Interview with Professor Susan Scafidi This podcast transcript has been edited for concision and clarity. Christina Lee Hello, my name is Christina Lee, and today I am happy to have you on The Issue Spotter Podcast. Today, our Online Associate Jamie Smith will be interviewing Professor Susan Scafidi, and we are super excited to welcome both of them to the podcast. So, thank you so much and looking forward to hearing this.   Jamie Smith Thanks, Christina. And hello, Professor Scafidi, thank you so much for joining me today. I’m so glad we can finally meet each other. For those who don’t know you, I’d like to give a brief introduction before we get into what I’m sure will be a scintillating discussion. Professor Susan Scafidi is the founder and academic director of the Fashion Law Institute at Fordham Law School. As the first professor to offer a course on fashion law, Professor Scafidi is an internationally recognized expert in the field. A frequent commentator on fashion and fashion law, Professor Scafidi has been featured in publications from The New York Times to Women’s Wear Daily and NPR. Professor Scafidi’s advocacy work ranges from support [read more]

Industrial Design: Reinterpreting the Useful Article Doctrine

The separability test’s current binary approach dooms opposing parties to talk past one another, each at a different level of abstraction, with courts only clumsily able to direct the proceedings. Courts could more productively channel discourse if they considered separability across a spectrum. By applying a spectrum, courts would be able to determine the sorts of designs that are truly worthy of copyright protection with greater precision and sophistication. [read more]