When it comes to artwork depicting animals, courts have to weigh the public’s ability to draw the common features of an animal – the big ears of an elephant, the long neck of a giraffe – against an artist’s rights in her particular depiction of those features. It is the stylistic additions to the common tropes or general features of the animals that are protectable. Here, we have a case involving the apparent taking of an artist’s expression in regard to her adorable depiction of cutesy canines. On the right you will find her images; on the left you will find the apparent rip. While the artist certainly does not have a monopoly on drawing dogs, she absolutely has a right to protect her particular expression as seen below (click on image to see artwork in detail).
- ATTORNEYSCOTT (scott@copyrightLA.com)