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NSW Breach of Copyright for Adaptation of Existing Artwork Cover?

Discussion in 'Intellectual Property Law Forum' started by Maxie, 5 December 2014.

  1. Maxie

    Maxie Member

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    Hi all,

    Our team is trying to create a tvc for pest control.

    One of our ideas is to have one shot of one of the actors showing them reading a book.

    The book cover will be an adaptation of an existing DVD artwork cover.

    What we've done is basically change the colour, add a few extra details so the final look is, although different, still quite similar to this existing work so people get the reference.

    Can anyone tell me if this will be breaching any copyright and intellectual property law?

    Your help would be much appreciated.
     
  2. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    Unless you have the OK from the copyright holder of the DVD cover,
    for which you may have to pay, and which they can refuse,
    then you may well have a problem, yes.
     
  3. Maxie

    Maxie Member

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    Hi Tim,

    What we're basically doing is very similar to what Aldi is doing with having products similar to already existing products.

    So, different size, shape, colour, copy and it's a book not a DVD. It just looks similar to the original.

    It's only for a prop that might not be that noticeable.

    Do you think we'd still get in trouble for this?
     
  4. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    Aldi has had high level legal advice about their packaging art and their products' trademarks.

    Doesn't much matter what it's on.
    The test is one of deceptive similarity (and no, "...but it's art" is not an excuse).
    As a general thing, if a reasonable punter sees the thing on-screen
    and says to herself something like
    "That looks like the the cover art of 'Dark Side Of The Moon'"*
    then you may have a problem.

    Then why not avoid the problem and use original art?

    Hard to say without seeing the art.
    Owners of media and artistic IP can be vigourous and energetic in its defence.
    Suffice to say that if you feel the need to seek advice about it, then maybe avoid that art.


    -----------------------
    * Yes, I accept that, to some people, that album is as ancient as Beethoven.
    But the cover art is familiar enough to most people that it makes a good example here.
     
    Sarah J likes this.

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