A Pink Panther Plucking? Copyright and Derivative Works

ATTORNEYSCOTT COMMENTARY:

17 U.S. Code § 106(2) of the Copyright Act that protects the author’s exclusive right to prepare derivative works. One effect of this provision is that if one creates a work that incorporates a pre-existing work, the resulting copyright protection only extends as far as what one adds, in terms of new, original, copyrightable authorship, to the underlying work. Here, we have a case where an artist created his interpretation of the classic Pink Panther character. Now, of course, his take on the Pink Panther does not give him copyrights in the Pink Panther character. But, it does give him rights in the original creative material that he has authored. And, if someone were to lift that material, a copyright claim may be found. The key, however, is in ascertaining whether what has been lifted is original and creative. See below and compare the pieces for yourself to see if the line has been crossed.

-ATTORNEYSCOTT / scott@copyrightLA.com / @veniceartlaw
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