Oh dear oh dear, what is the matter with McDonalds? Their
corporate website is full of warm and fluffy statements about how
seriously they take their corporate social responsibility. They are
into 'Recycling', 'Reusing' and Supporting
youngsters and the community.' Really – how come
then that they are facing a string of copyright infringement suits
from graffiti artists over the reproduction of their work in
McDonald outlets both sides of the Atlantic. Seems the recycling
and reusing may be without permission and as for supporting the
young and communities why not haul an artist in from the road next
to the restaurant and bung them a few quid to graffiti the whole
joint if you think that's the way to go. The very idea of
sourcing work to reproduce when you have the artist right there
eating your burgers seems plan daft. That is not what street art is
and no wonder that a number of artists are concerned that their
work is devalued once sprayed all over the burger bar walls and
lamp shades. The latest suit has been brought by the estate of
Snow. It seems the claim being brought by the girlfriend and owner
of the work of the late Snow was issued only after the request to
remove the work was refused. The artist who died in 2008 aged 27
was a legend in the field and part of a graffiti crew known as
IRAK. Clearly McDonalds think they can run some sort of plausible
defence. In the US it is harder to establish a work qualifies for
copyright as aesthetic merit more difficult to establish than in
the UK. Still bearing in mind that multi-nationals need the
goodwill of their customers to make money – getting into this
sort of argument with graffiti artists doesn't seem too
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Trading under your name is an appealing idea, especially in the fashion world where designers frequently use their own names as brands (think Hugo Boss, Donatella Versace, and Tom Ford, to name but a few).
1.The trade mark shall not entitle the proprietor to prohibit its use in relation to goods which have been put on the market in the Community under that trade mark by the proprietor or with his consent.
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