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Old January 23rd, 2007 -   #6 (permalink)
Ross B
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Default Re: threadless and copyright infringement: a discussion :)

Originally Posted by Rodney
I'm still not sure what would have been the best way for Threadless to handle it though. Probably by stopping the sales of the shirts right away until it was resolved.
I agree they should have suspended sales of the shirts until the matter was properly resolved, but otherwise, I think they handled this one pretty well.

Whether street graffiti artists' original art should be considered subject to the usual copyright protection is - as is often the case with copyright issues and discussions - a matter of whether you are wearing a legal or philosophical hat. (I think, incidentally, that confusion over these two basic platforms, or lack of recognition thereof, is behind the polarisation of views on the issue and sometimes rather unproductive forum interchanges that have resulted). Add to this the complications that the law itself is often indeterminate and subject to interpretation on a myriad of aspects of copyright protection, and that philosophical argument is by nature not black and white, and you have a recipe for confusion!

I am always on the side of art and the artist - call it an inherent bias, if you will - and a conflict of interest is sometimes unavoidable even in that (but I won't go there!). No prizes, then, for picking my stance on the matter: an artist's creation is still theirs, regardless of context. Thus, in my opinion - and I acknowledge that I am wearing my philosophical hat - the graffiti artists' work should be subject to copyright protection equal to that every artist is entitled to assume as a given. The link Jasonda provided shows the legal view as another matter altogether. I think the law is wrong - again! But that will be no surprise for those who have followed these copyright discussions.

Cheers all.

Last edited by Ross B; January 23rd, 2007 at 05:54 PM..