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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Walnut Creek, California

    University of Alabama unfriendly to artist

    It seems that the University of Alabammy has a twisted view of its trademarks. It sued a local sports artist named named Daniel Moore for trademark infringement over his paintings of memorable Crimson Tide football plays.

    And lost!


    I mean if Andy Warhol didn't violate a trademark for his Brillo box, how can some sports artist violate it over football colors or uniforms? Does anyone think Roy Neiman is stealing trademark material with his NFL paintings?

    Short-sighted, anyone?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC unless it's a home football game then I'm grilling on Devil's Alley
    As an artist I understand both sides. My paintings I have of the Duke football team (http://www.wagnerwatercolor.com/gallery3.html), I consider mine in every way. I was given permission by the university to be on the field to take the images, and the images themselves were my own. I didn't use anyone else's photos to work from. I do have problems when I see paintings and prints of such iconic moments such as "the shot". In my mind, unless the photographer gave the artist permission to use his photo, it's stealing. That's why when you go to the N&O's and Herald-Sun's sites, you have the option to buy the photo; they have the rights to them, they took the pictures.
    What I don't agree with is the claim that the artist violated anything by painting the uniforms. If this were the case, then 1000's of news sites across the country could be sued every day. (Photo's are just as artistic as paintings, same policy applies in my opinion). ESPN doesn't pay Duke to post a picture of the team hoisting the ACC trophy at the end of the tournament. They pay the photographer. It's his image, his rights. I'm glad Alabama lost this fight, but if his paintings are done from someone else's photos he would lose that fight if the individual sued him.

    Edit...when I asked permission to take the photos with the intention of painting them, I offered to leave off identifying marks from the uniform. That point was never addressed when I was given permission to be on the sidelines, so I take it as it is allowed.
    Mmmm, BBQ!

  3. #3
    It looks like the claim was based on infringement of the team's uniforms and colors...not the rights to the images themselves. That would be a separate issue, but which might be overcome by fair use doctrine anyway.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Deeetroit City
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim3k View Post
    It seems that the University of Alabammy has a twisted view of its trademarks. It sued a local sports artist named named Daniel Moore for trademark infringement over his paintings of memorable Crimson Tide football plays.

    And lost!


    I mean if Andy Warhol didn't violate a trademark for his Brillo box, how can some sports artist violate it over football colors or uniforms? Does anyone think Roy Neiman is stealing trademark material with his NFL paintings?

    Short-sighted, anyone?
    Closer case than Warhol's Brillo box. Did anyone think that Warhol's painting was sponsored by or authorized by Brillo? No argument Brillo suffered dilution.

    Here, the University undoubtedly has "authentic" or official paintings. Thus, potential confusion that the accused paintings were "sponsored" by the university. I agree with the decision, but it would be interesting to see the paintings and the arguments.

    Roy Neiman is licensed by the NFL and the other organizations, as he is usually commissioned to create his works. He uses the names and numbers on the jerseys and the team logos and colors.

    These cases are like ogres ...

  5. #5
    parfaits have layers

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Deeetroit City
    Quote Originally Posted by CameronBornAndBred View Post
    ... ESPN doesn't pay Duke to post a picture of the team hoisting the ACC trophy at the end of the tournament. They pay the photographer. It's his image, his rights.
    News is its own little area of the law. There may be limitations on the photographer imposed by the on-field press pass. The photographer would also encounter problems using "Duke" in titling, packaging or advertising the photo without Duke's permission.

    I'm glad Alabama lost this fight, but if his paintings are done from someone else's photos he would lose that fight if the individual sued him. ...
    You mean like this?

    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/10/faireybungle/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC unless it's a home football game then I'm grilling on Devil's Alley
    Quote Originally Posted by BD80 View Post
    News is its own little area of the law. There may be limitations on the photographer imposed by the on-field press pass. The photographer would also encounter problems using "Duke" in titling, packaging or advertising the photo without Duke's permission.



    You mean like this?

    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/10/faireybungle/
    Yup..that's a great example. As an artist I take issue with appropiating another artist's image and then calling it their own work and profiting from it.
    Mmmm, BBQ!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Walnut Creek, California
    Quote Originally Posted by BD80 View Post
    Closer case than Warhol's Brillo box. Did anyone think that Warhol's painting was sponsored by or authorized by Brillo? No argument Brillo suffered dilution.

    Here, the University undoubtedly has "authentic" or official paintings. Thus, potential confusion that the accused paintings were "sponsored" by the university. I agree with the decision, but it would be interesting to see the paintings and the arguments.

    Roy Neiman is licensed by the NFL and the other organizations, as he is usually commissioned to create his works. He uses the names and numbers on the jerseys and the team logos and colors.

    These cases are like ogres ...
    As for Neiman, I agree that he is now licensed and has been for many years. I don't think that was true in the beginning. His licensing came after his paintings were turned into prints for mass sales. I'm not even certain about the application of the license to his original works, even today. It's the mass sale success that caused him and the NFL to make their business arrangement. And I'm sure it's a win-win situation.
    Last edited by Jim3k; 11-03-2009 at 05:17 PM.

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