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Chris Barbalis' artwork

Street Art: the dispute that nearly lost artists their rights

Recently H&M launched an advertising campaign which displayed the work of street artist Jason ‘Revok’ Williams in the background. Revok sent a cease and desist letter claiming copyright infringement, as it was an “unauthorised use of his original artwork”. He did not want people to assume an affiliation between him and the high street brand. H&M responded by taking legal action of its own. It filed a lawsuit, hoping the court would declare that there was…
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Music - guitar

Will James Arthur “Let Go” in US copyright battle with The Script?

The Irish band The Script has launched a copyright infringement claim in the US against the 2012 X Factor winner – James Arthur. This case is the next in a recent wave of US copyright infringement cases where popular artists have been accused of going too far in taking inspiration from previous artists work. The Script are arguing that James Arthur’s 2016 hit song “Say You Won’t Let Go” infringes their copyright rights in their…
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women photographers

Let’s talk about copyright…

Copyright is a legal right which comes in handy for those of you who like to create. Whether it be writing, photographing or inventing once your idea is physically expressed and tangible you automatically qualify for copyright. Copyright law provides a framework of rules which you, the creative can use to your benefit. Your copyright gives you the legal right to sell, copy, share or change your work whilst also preventing others. With copyright you…
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Blurred lines

Blurring the lines between inspiration, imitation and infringement of copyright

Earlier this month, a US appeals court upheld an earlier finding by a trial court in the US that Robin Thicke’s song “Blurred Lines” infringed on the copyright in Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up.” Gaye died in 1984, but his family argued that “Got to Give it Up” was copied by Thicke making “Blurred Lines” one of the most commercially successful songs of 2013. Thicke (and Pharrell Williams, who helped to write and…
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camera

Artist sues Kendrick Lamar & SZA for Copyright Infringement

An independent artist, by the name of Lina Iris Viktor, recently claimed that Kendrick Lamar copied her gold patterned paintings in the ‘All The Stars’ video made for the film Black Panther. She decided to file a lawsuit against Lamar, SZA, Universal Music Group and others involved in the video’s production claiming that her work had been featured without her permission. The artist claims to have been contacted by the film’s representatives on multiple occasions…
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printed literature

Your copyright or mine? How to deal with joint ownership of copyright works

Have you ever worked on a commercial project with a friend, colleague or even a lover? When it was finished, were you clear on who owned the creative output? The reason I ask is that it’s often the case that this issue is a little fuzzy, particularly when it comes to copyright. Now don’t get me wrong, copyright is brilliant, in most countries it subsists automatically, without the need for a laborious registration process and…
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White Noise

White noise and YouTube’s broken copyright algorithm

Sebastian Tomczak, a musician based in Australia, was hit with five copyright claims after he uploaded a white noise recording to YouTube. The 10 hour long video consisting of continuous, indistinct electronic hissing, often used as a method of sleep therapy, was identified by YouTube’s algorithm as a close match to existing content on the site. The automated content ID system which scans uploaded videos against a database of files submitted to the platform, made…
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copyright

Extended Copyright Licence – the Rebel Daughter of Hargreaves comes home at Christmas

Copyright, that is the exclusive right given to originator of works for a period of years to print publish perform file of record literary artistic or musical material is about to suffer a fundamental blow. The Copyright Licensing Agency has applied to the Intellectual Property Office to Operate an Extended Copyright Licence which would allow it to licence the works of authors it does not represent. Specially the application seeks a licence which respect to…
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vintage robot

Sophia – The Robot Saudi Citizen

Saudi Arabia has become the first country to give a robot citizenship. Before we all panic in a Blade Runner-esque manner, what does this actually mean? It has predominantly been received as a PR stunt to promote Saudi Arabia’s technology industry. The rights Sophia actually has have not been clearly set out but citizenship does imply a level of human rights. The details of how she will be used, what she will do and whether…
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microphone

New Zealand political party ordered to pay damages to Eminem’s publishing company – Eight Mile Style, for shady behaviour

Eminem’s publishing company – Eight Mile Style – has been awarded NZ$600,000 by a New Zealand judge in relation to a copyright infringement claim brought by it against the National Party in New Zealand. In 2014, the National Party used a track which was highly similar to Eminem’s well known track – Lose Yourself – in an election campaign advert. The advert was aired over 100 times on television during the 2014 election campaign. It…
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