It's those tattoos again.
The IPKat's good Dutch friend and self-confessed faithful reader Roland Wigman (Versteeg Wigman Sprey advocaten, Amsterdam), referring to Eleonora's recent blogpost on tattoos and copyright, takes this opportunity to let us know that there are two, not-so-recent, Dutch cases on copyright in tattoos. In neither case, though, did the court have to determine whether a tattoo design, in and of itself, was protected by copyright. He adumbrates:
Henk Schiffmacher sued public broadcaster VARA for copyright infringement. The facts were like this: in 1996 the German publisher Taschen published a book entitled 1000 Tattoos, edited by Schiffmacher and with photgraphs and designs which were apparently made available by the Amsterdam Tattoo Museum (a Henk Schiffmacher enterprise). In 2005 VARA broadcast a show entitled "Kopspijkers" (which I believe translates into English as 'hobnails'). In the décor were (parts of) tattoos from the book depicted. Schiffmacher sued for copyright infringement. The question whether the tattoos were copyright works was not an issue (it was not contested). Schiffmacher lost because he couldn't prove his claims that he was the designer of a number of the tattoos, or that he had acquired the rights in the other tattoos. A claim for copyright in the collection of tattoos was also dismissed, since Schiffmacher couldn’t prove that he was the author of the collection (under Dutch law, copyright may be vested in a collection such as “the collected short stories of the 19th century”, but such copyright protects only against copying of the collection as such). Finally, Schiffmacher also based his claim on copyright in the photographs of the tattoos, but he couldn't prove that he was either the photographer or the owner of the copyrights in the photographs.
|Humphrey, who has no wish to be|
tattooed, decided to grow
his own defences
|Would anyone confuse the|
Commission with 'experts'?
[click here for full details] on 24 October on the Red Bus copyright case and its impact (if any!) has already attracted 67 registrations, despite the fact that it's the holiday season. Hosts Simmons & Simmons will additionally be arranging guided tours of some of the treasures of their art collection that are housed at CityPoint: registrants will be asked, a couple of weeks before the event, whether they wish to take advantage of this facility. The firm is also organising CPD points for UK-based practitioners. If you've not yet signed up for this event but intend to do so, it's best to do so now, to avoid being waiting-listed.
|What our annual Meeting would be like|
if it weren't for our generous hosts ...
|Coming soon: Indiana|
Jones and the Lost Email
|Some folk never|
the concept of
pro bono ...
As usual, readers have come to the rescue (thanks and katpats to you all!) Francis Davey confirms that the Open Rights Group is "not a law firm" and that, while it has occasionally been able to provide advice and support, the Group really needs one or more legal mentors to help work something out that would work on a more regularised basis -- perhaps, for example, a reasonably senior partner in a reasonable sized firm and/or the involvement of university law departments. If you have the time and the expertise, please let Francis know by email here.
Francis reminds us that the Bar Pro Bono Unit (BPU) does this sort of work too -- though the BPU aren't IP specialists and also have some fairly strict financial filtering that would preclude many small businesses obtaining their help. So far as student law clinics are concerned, he cites Queen Mary London's Law for the Arts advice centre, here. There are a few caveats regarding student law clinics too: in particular, (i) they may be only sporadically available, lacking support out of term; and (ii) they often limited in scope in unhelpful ways.
Own-It, which provides IP advice by email and after face-to-face consultation. A further positive mention of Own-it comes from Gill White, who reminds us that this service, based at the University of the Arts London, is not exclusively open to students or alumni. Own-It runs seminars and has a good website with articles, podcasts and FAQs etc. Gill adds:
"you can send in questions by email and they also do 45 minute clinics. They only charge an admin fee for the clinics and the lawyers who actually do the clinics provide their time on a pro-bono basis".