Be Careful of Background Images

October 1, 2018

In August, I discussed a case where where the US Postal Service was found to have infringed the copyright in a replica of the Statue of Liberty (see link).

 

This month, we discuss a case where the National Rifle Association of America included a famous sculptural work -- the Cloud Gate -- in the background of one of its television advertisements.  The problem for the NRA is that they never sought permission from the sculptor, Anish Kapoor, to use his sculpture in their advertisement.  When Mr. Kapoor requested that the NRA stop using his sculpture, they refused.

 

The unlawful use of the sculpture in the advertisement led Mr. Kapoor to sue the NRA for copyright infringement (Kapoor v. National Rifle Association of America, 18-cv-4252 (N.D. Ill June 19, 2018)).  The case has just begun and it will be interesting to see the NRA's Answer.  I suspect that the NRA will push fair use as the basis for their use.

 

 

Image is from the Complaint at p3

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