Thursday, 20 October 2011

Theft is not 'inspiration'

Hi Everyone,

Intellectual property is a precious thing, in a creative industry you want to protect your hard work. We have been confronted by potential clients who don’t value IP and want to see assets prior to paying. This is very frustrating, I’m pretty sure they don’t ask an accountant to do their finances for six months to determine if the will hire them. Anyway, when we do create something you want to protect it as if that thing is successful people will attempt to use that success.

Today we heard that a settlement had been reached between Rihanna and David LaChapelle for the use of images used in her S&M video. As you can see below the similarities are obvious so he was right to be upset.

This brings us nicely on to the new Beyonce video and the work of choreographers Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker. Take a look below and, again, there is no doubt that there are strong similarities between the two.

There is a difference between paying homage with a variety of subtle nods or thematic choices and the exploitation of someone else’s property. The proliferation of the web means that if you utilise information it is no longer a case of finding a random book from a library and taking those influences and expecting nobody to notice. If artists want to be credited as more than just a performer then it appears that they will need to check all source material. Millions of online detectives are ready and waiting to dissect and determine where any similarities lie so there is little chance of escape!

It will be interesting to see if the Beyonce video becomes subject to legal proceedings of the owner of the IP (Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker) may have been asked for permission. If not, then it will be time to arm the lawyers.

Until next time, I shall be learning some new dance moves!!


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