Estate of Artist Pops Back into Court

Will a museum ever be built?

The reproduction rights for the artwork of deceased artist, Robert Indiana, will be determined in a court of law. Michael McKenzie filed the lawsuit in Portland, Maine this month and claims that he is fully entitled to the reproduction rights.  McKenzie worked with Indiana for many years as an art publisher and collaborator.  Indiana was known for creating pop-style art.  Despite the deal made while Indiana was alive, the executor of the late artist’s estate contends that McKenzie’s rights to reproduce ceased as soon as Indiana died. Read more

Doll Creates an Uncomfortable Space

Out of this world

Since 1986, American Girl Doll has become a household name.  The 18-inch dolls bear likenesses of young girls with different ethnicities, and the persona of each doll is developed into a character.  The introduction of the aspiring astronaut doll, Luciana Vega, in 2018 has caused more damage than intended. According to a recent lawsuit filed against American Girl Doll and its parent company Mattel, the Luciana doll is based off of a real person.  Lucianne Walkowicz did not approve of the representation and is suing the doll maker for trademark infringement. Read more

Tattoo Dispute Fades Away

Tattooed work of art

Much like painters or musicians, tattoo artists are creators in their own right.  However, are their inked canvases considered unique designs worthy of copyright protection?  Solid Oak Sketches seemed to think so, as the company filed a lawsuit against producers of NBA 2K video games, including Take-Two Interactive Software.  In 2016, the tattoo licensing firm accused NBA 2K of embodying athletes such as LeBron James, Eric Bledsoe, and Kenyon Martin with their real-life tattoos in the video games, without properly compensating the artists who tattooed them.  That lawsuit, initially filed in a Manhattan court, was just dismissed this month. Read more

Working Out a Settlement

Work it out

Most of us have seen the commercials advertising one of the most sought-after at-home fitness equipment products.  While the interactive live videos on the Peloton screens are intended to pump up the energy of the user, the music and workouts help eliminate, what some people might consider, the “boring” element of exercise.  Although this brand of stationary bike is seriously one of the best in the industry, with prices starting at $2,245, the company has seen a slight decline in its stock.  A possible cause for this drop could be the lawsuit surrounding allegations that Peloton streamed over 2,400 songs in their workout videos without prior authorization. Read more

Song Dispute Tunes Out

Can’t stop the music

Although the terms of the settlement were not disclosed, Miley Cyrus has settled a $300 million lawsuit concerning the origins of her popular hit “We Can’t Stop.”  Initially filed in 2018, Michael May, also known as Flourgon, accused Cyrus and Sony Corp’s RCA Records of negligently infringing upon the copyright of his 1988 song, “We Run Things.”  While a similarity exists in one of the lyrics, the two songs are not identical, so is this really a case of copyright infringement?  The two parties involved have not left the matter for the courts to decide.   Read more