3 Count: San Francisco Treat

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1: Artist Sues S.F. for Copyright Infringement After City Uses Mural in Ad Campaign

First off today, Nora Mishanec at the San Francisco Chronicle reports that artist Cameron Moberg has filed a lawsuit against the city of Sasn Francisco over the use of a mural he painted in an advertising campaign run by the city.

Recently, the city of San Francisco began running a campaign entitled Our City. Our Power. The campaign pushes for the creation of a public power system. According to the lawsuit, a billboard put up for this campaign featured a cropped version of his Visitacion Valley mural alongside a message encouraging residents get their electricity from the city.

The lawsuit is seeking up to $150,000 for each advertisement and the city is the only named defendant. Clear Channel, the company that owns and operates the billboards, was not named as a defendant.

2: Disney’s ‘Steamboat Willie’ YouTube Copyright Claim is Back, This Time for Audio

Next up today, Elena Cavender at Mashable reports that YouTuber Brock Baker has posted a copy of the now-public domain cartoon Steamboat Willie, only to have it first copyright struck by Disney and now a new claim by Universal Music Group.

Steamboat Willie is best known as the first appearance of Mickey Mouse. Created in 1928, the copyright on the cartoon expired on January 1, 2024. This has prompted widespread uploads and uses of the character, including Baker’s upload.

However, shortly after it was uploaded, the video was hit with a copyright Claim from Disney, which demonetized the video and made it inaccessible in certain places. However, Disney quickly repealed the claim after news coverage. Now the video has been claimed again, this time by UMG over the audio in the cartoon. There’s no word if the claim has been rescinded.

3: Aritzia Wins Dismissal of Lawsuit Over Hot-Pink Sculptures

Finally today, Rhianna Schmunk at CBC News reports that retailer Aritzia has won the dismissal of a lawsuit filed against it by an artist who claimed the chain had infringed their copyright with a series of pink sculptures.

The lawsuit was filed by Richard X. Zawitz an artist who claimed that Aritzia infringed various sculptures he made when creating similar looking ones for their storefronts. In both cases, the sculptures are metallic tubes bent in in various ways to make a different shape.

However, the judge in the case ruled that Zawitz was attempting to use copyright to protect the style of his work rather than the work itself. Since copyright does not protect a style, the judge dismissed the lawsuit. Zawitz has already filed an appeal of the decision.

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