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10.29.14 Rhett Jones

An entrepreneur from Hoboken was just trying to make some dough off her pastries and dog treats when she received a cease-and-desist letter from luxury retail giant Saks Fifth Avenue. They claimed that her company, Snaks 5th Avenchew, was biting into their style and was in violation of copyright. But the small business owner, Carrie Sarabella, […]

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03.20.14 Marina Galperina

What just happened? Well, artist Richard Prince appropriated the photographs of Jamaican Rastafarians by Patrick Cariou to make million-dollar-selling “Canal Zone” series of works; it’s been a legal, copyright infringement vs. fair use mess for five years. In 2011, the federal court ruled against Prince. In 2013, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled […]

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03.18.14 Andy Cush

The saga of Beastie Boys versus GoldieBlox appears to be winding to a close, as the two parties have reached a settlement in a lawsuit sparked by a GoldieBlox YouTube commercial that went viral late last year. GoldieBlox, which sells toys designed to “inspire the future generation of female engineers,” used a reworking of the […]

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01.17.14 Andy Cush

Pro-Folio, by Royal College of Art student Sures Kumar, was good art. Enter any name — your own, perhaps — into its simple web interface, and it generated a slickly-designed artist’s portfolio, fully populated with other people’s artwork, randomly selected from public profiles on the art- and design-sharing site Behance. By so effortlessly birthing fictional artists into […]

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11.27.13 Andy Cush

On the surface, the story of GoldieBlox’s Beastie Boys-skewering toy commercial was a heartwarming one. Independent company takes a misogynistic song by since-reformed hip hop legends and repurposes it as girl-power anthem. Everyone is happy! Except: well-intentioned though it may be, GoldieBlox is still a commercial, for-profit company. And late Beastie Boy Adam Yauch, who […]

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11.25.13 Kyle Petreycik

Earlier last week, toy company GoldieBlox released a viral video campaign advertising toy and book product that overcomes commercial gender stereotypes. The video uses the Beastie Boys’ 1986 song “Girls“… Girls, to do the dishes Girls, to clean up my room Girls, to do the laundry Gilrs, and in the bathroom …and changed the lyrics to market […]

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10.22.13 Andy Cush

Debate around the legality of sampling in music revolves in part around the idea that sampled music might take away revenue from its source material. Besides the obvious practical flaw in this argument–fans of Yeezus almost certainly wouldn’t be listening to the Ponderosa Twins Plus One and Holy Name of Mary Choral Family if it hadn’t ever […]

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04.18.11 Marina Galperina

Copyright infringement now earns you a mandatory date with Happy Tree Friends. If this light instructional sets the standard on what YouTube wants us to think about Fair Use, then it’s really, really complicated, kids, so just don’t remix if you don’t have an attorney… It’s bad, m’kay? […]

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02.10.11 Marina Galperina

(Left) Image: Leon Lim, (Right) Photograph: Mark Chew/Polaris Remember that stellar text art portrait of Julian Assange by New York-based Malaysian artist Leon Lim that was chosen by TIME Magazine for their Dec 27th issue? An overzealous rep from Polaris Images contacted us regarding that post. She’s claiming “unauthorized” use of a photograph we never […]

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01.12.11 Marina Galperina

US District Judge Alvin Hellerstein has dismissed the cases between Shepard Fairey and the Associated Press. And so, the whole copyright infringement vs. fair use vs. fake evidence ballyhooed mess has been resolved with a “confidential” financial settlement. The AP and Fairey will also “collaborate on a series of images,” according to the AP’s press […]

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