a blog with cultural bulimia.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

et tu, rosa II

"The U.S. Supreme Court has allowed Rosa Parks, a legendary symbol of the U.S. civil rights movement, to sue the rap group Outkast, which named one of its songs after her." Herald Tribune "Parks' lawyers, Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. of Los Angeles and Gregory J. Reed of Detroit, claimed that since the song had nothing to do with Parks, it was used only to exploit her celebrity to sell records. As a result, the song was an unauthorized, commercial appropriation of Parks' name that tarnished her legacy, her lawyers said."
'Though consumers frequently look to the title of a work to determine what it is about, they do not regard titles of artistic works in the same way as the names of ordinary commercial products'
From Rogers –v- Grimaldi case in which actress Ginger Rogers filed a lawsuit against a film entitled "Ginger and Fred" about two Italian cabaret performers who made a living by imitating Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. Rogers argued that the title created the false impression that she was associated with the film.
"If we see a painting titled "Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup", we’re unlikely to believe that Campbell’s has branched into the art business. Nor, upon hearing Janis Joplin croon, "Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes-Benz?", would we suspect that she and the carmaker had entered into a joint venture."
When weighing up Mattel's claim of infringement of its "BARBIE" trade mark - when Danish band Aqua released Barbie Girl in 1997 - Judge Alex Kozinski compared the case with Andy Warhol's "Campbell's Soup" works as well as the content of a well-known Janis Joplin song