For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Thursday, 23 March 2006

IPKAT TAKES A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE


Slash and burn

The IPKat was flicking through an only slightly old copy of the Times Higher when he came across a review of De Montfort’s Slash Fiction Study Day. What’s slash fiction the Kat hears at least some of you ask?


Well, according to the De Montfort website:
Slash fiction is a category of fan stories, almost exclusively by women, about homoerotic affairs between male characters in popular films and TV series.

Targets mentioned include Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Harry Potter and real person slash (the fictional love child of David Beckham and Richard Madeley is mentioned).
The IPKat is somewhat excited by the IP issues involved. Rosemary Coombe has mentioned the phenomenon in relation to trade mark law. To that, the kat adds the possibility of a passing off action and even a personality rights claim.


Copyright in tattoos?


The IPKat is grateful to Guy Selby-Lowndes who (a little while ago) tipped him off about a tattoo furore reported on Needled. Suicide Girl (don’t ask…) Amina Munster has had a tattoo that appears on her chest registered with the US Copyright Office. Savy Ms Munster appears to have taken an assignment of the copyright in the tattoo from her tattoo artist, but the tattoo artist explains the depth of feeling involved:
My boss, Paul Booth, has his work copied all the time. Just because it happens, doesn't make it right. Paul has even had one of the tattoos he wears ON HIS FACE copied by some asshole in Russia. It has deep personal meaning for him, which the person who ripped it off couldn't even begin to fathom. Paul would love cut off the hands of the person who did it and take his tattoo back as well. Not everyone has personal meaning behind their tattoos, but a lot of us do, and it cheapens that.


The IPKat wonders whether a tattoo would get copyright protection in the UK, following Merchandising Corporation of America Inc. and Others v Harpbond Ltd and Others . There Adam Ant’s make wasn’t protected by copyright because it wasn’t a ‘painting’ since: (i) make-up just didn’t fit into the dictionary meaning of a painting and (ii) painting must be on a surface, but a face isn’t a surface. The IPKat thinks that the courts might want to revisit this case though, particularly since the definition seems very restrictive when compared with the wide definition of music in Sawkins v Hyperion.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Adam Ant case was a 56 Act case. Under the 1988 Act the definition of artistic works is wider - it covers any "graphic work". There seems absolutely no reason why this should not cover tattoos.

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