Pretty much every online news-service going (including E! Online) is reporting that television star Marcia Cross is seeking to rely on her copyright in a rather delicate matter. Photographs of Ms Cross in a state of undress are at risk of doing the rounds after they were found by a garbage collector that the actress hired to remove rubbish from her home. Cross claims that to distribute the photos would infringe copyright in the picture, which she says were taken for personal use. However, the garbage-collector’s agent appears to be in fighting mood, saying

“The pictures were not stolen…When you throw something away, you forfeit that property."

Beware garbage bags bearing gifts...

The IPKat says that, while this might be true of the physical property, throwing copyright works away doesn’t mean that you’ve abandoned your copyright in them.
MARCIA IS CROSS MARCIA IS CROSS Reviewed by Unknown on Thursday, November 02, 2006 Rating: 5


  1. Ownership of garbage is a tricky subject. Oliver Pell was successfully prosecuted after taking the contents of a bin bag.

  2. Presumably Guy is talking about tangible garbage, which you can dispose of by throwing it away - tho it's not clear when it isn't yours any more (the original owner of garbage isn't stealing it if he retrieves it from the trash can or landfill, is he?) A more interesting question is intellectual garbage: does any country provide that authors can throw their copyright away, or does it always stick to them like chewing gum under the shoe?


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