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Friday, April 21, 2006
  Joan Miro and Copyright Insanity
The Joan Miro logo that Google had on their homepage yesterday to celebrate the birthday of the Spanish artist was taken down early because of "copyright violation". The Artists Rights Society represents the family of Miro (along with a bunch of other artists) and asked Google to take it down because "It's a distortion of the original works and in that respect it violates the moral rights of the artist".
It's right to protect the rights of an artist if people are profiting from it or are using their image inappropriately, but is this just being silly? It's not like Google were profiting from the logo, it was a tribute to Miro. The logo also linked to the search results of "Joan Miro", which looks like free advertising for the name of the artist to me.
I seriously cannot see any reason for the Artists Rights Society to ask Google to do such a thing. They're actually working against the promotion of the life and work of the artist.
There's more on the story here.
>> Famous Artists, Controversy
 
BgArt News Blog Comments:
I fully agree with your comments on this "insanity". Google's artistic homage to Miro didn't infringe the artist's copyright in any way. It was what we call a "fond Mickey-take". A parody of artistic style is permitted under copyright law, so long as it isn't an attempt to forge work and pass it off as an original. Clearly this wasn't a forgery.
Have you been asked to remove the offending Google doodle from your blog? I posted the same graphic on my blog. So far I haven't heard from The Artists Rights Society. I'm off to blog this nonsense right now....
 
So much for paying a tribute to an artist. How come nothing was done when birthday tributes were created for Da Vinci, Van Gogh or M.C Escher?

Hhmm....well, I suppose the Miro one looked more like the artist's work than the other Google designs.

Still, it's not like they were forging a piece of art for sale. What a funny world.
 
According to the Mercury News article, Google said that it would honor the request but that it did not believe its logo was a copyright violation. So I guess they were just being nice.

And nope, the Artists Rights Society hasn't contacted me. I would imagine they would have better things to do with their time.

Maybe they were hoping that by telling Google to take the image down, they would create more publicity for the artist?
I can't think of any other good reason for them to do such a thing.
 
If anything the "google" use of a miro parody was interesting. It actually honored the artist. But, I guess if all companies started doing this without permission some real issue might develop. Examples like "try our PIGcasso porkchops, no cubes about it" type of non-sense could flood the media. www.bobcarl-artist.com
 
I'm surprised... since Joan would have loved it. I did... but then, I'm biased. ;-)
 
I went through a similar problem when I tried to use a derivative of "Ceci N'est Pas une Pipe". I think this could be avoided if there was more concise documentation on copyright law.
 
I think this could be avoided if there was more concise documentation on copyright law.

Or if copyright law were actually sane, and actually properly enforced, and not abused to spit in the face of those giving honor with the best intentions.

But you're right...Any sort of streamlining of legalese would go a long way to killing off part of the major legal headache plaguing this country.
 
Where's the harm? This is just hamfisted enforcement, that, from Google's point of view, is hardly worth fighting. It reminds me of another recent copyright travesty -- the licensing of Elvis impersonators. Miro and Elvis are probably both rolling in their graves.
 
I put copyright law in the "too hard" basket. One region says do this, another region says do that.
There's plenty of copyright information online, but its not a very interesting read.
There needs to be some kind of global copyright law where everyone plays by the same rules. But people are not very good at working together, or at least governments arnt, so I can't see that happening anytime soon.

The Elvis impersonator thing was funny though. And some of them are so bad that they SHOULD be prosecuted! Probably not for any copyright infringements, but just for making the public put up with their bad performance.
 
It's not half as bad as the 'authorised' Citroen Xsara Picasso
 
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