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Google Violates Miro's Copyright?

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the you-gotta-be-kidding-me dept.

651

Anonymous Coward writes "In a homage to Joan Miro on his birthday, Google changed its logo as to spell out the word "Google" in Miro's style. Google has a history of changing its logo in order to commemorate events and holidays of particular significance. In this case, the homage was not well received by the Miro family or the Artists Rights Society which represents them, as reported by the Mercury News. According to Theodore Feder, president of the ARS, "There are underlying copyrights to the works of Miro, and they are putting it up without having the rights". The ARS demanded that Google removed the logo, and Google complied, though not without adding that it did not believe it was in violation of copyright. The ARS has raised similar complaints regarding Google's tribute to Salvador Dali in 2002. "It's a distortion of the original works and in that respect it violates the moral rights of the artist," Feder said." It seems to me that the art world has a glorious history of incorporating prior art into modern creations. It's amusing to me that ARS doesn't understand that.

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This is what I think about ARS (4, Funny)

layer3switch (783864) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184524)

ARS-holes

There you have it.

Its all about the money (5, Insightful)

IntelliAdmin (941633) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184526)

I doubt any of the original artists would have a problem with it. It seems that it is family's that are interested in the financial gain from complaining to Google about it. This tiny excerpt from the article explains it all: "In September, the Authors Guild sued Google for reproducing works..." Come on! The Google symbol in the likeness of an artist is honoring them. It would only help increase the value's of their works, and peoples awareness of them. They just see Google as a big money pit they can take from.

Families. The word is families. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15184573)

Learn to spell.

Re:Families. The word is families. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15184608)

This isn't some research publication. The point was made. I understood it just fine. I'm sure you and everyone else did too. Find something better to do with you life.

Re:Its all about the money (5, Insightful)

baptiste (256004) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184592)

It is so sad when people try to do something nice (i.e. a tribute) only to be smacked down by money hungry trusts and estates who have no concept of the greater good. I think Google's logo art is an awesome thing. They gain nothing from it, yet it raises awareness of people, places, and causes. I'm all for copyrights and trademark protection when it comes to trying to protect an authors original work, but come on. A tribute that would stay up 1-2 days honoring the artist and they make this big a deal over it? Sigh - this world gets more screwed up by the day

It should be about courtesy (0)

UnanimousCoward (9841) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184613)

While I agree with the above post, IMHO, Google should have the courtesy of asking permission from the controlling body. If that body is stupid enough to reject Google's request (including asking for royalties), Google should just move on to a body that will accept the request--I'm sure there are plenty who would gladly accept the free publicity. So we don't get a Miro-Google--BFD. There are others that we will be able to see in the future.

Re:It should be about courtesy (5, Insightful)

maggot the shrew (243579) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184723)

I don't think anybody should have to ask permission to use elements of a dead artist's work which are over 65 years old. Miro's contribution to popular culture is pervasive. There is no basis for restricting wholesale reproduction of his works outside of the obscene length of time we allow for copyright in the West. Much less should we be allowed to restrict the use of simple elements and basic tributes of extremely common, influential, and well publicized art.

Re:It should be about courtesy (5, Insightful)

pla (258480) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184762)

While I agree with the above post, IMHO, Google should have the courtesy of asking permission from the controlling body.

Why? Why should they need to ask permission to use the style of a dead artist in their logo?

Miro, like him or not, contributed something to our shared culture. We ALL have the right (morally, not necessarily legally) to make use of that contribution. In this case Google did a tribute to him, which makes the complaints all the more offensive, but I would say the same thing if they had created their "normal" logo, purely out of commercial self-interest, from his style.



Miro family: Get out of the shadow of your one famous ancestor and do something with your lives. The modern world doesn't need de facto aristocracies. Make a name for yourselves, or fade into oblivion. Don't expect society to let you rest on the long-dead laurels of a relative who did accomplish something.

Theodore Feder and the Artists Rights Society: You spout non-stop self-aggrandizing BS about how much your members contribute to our culture, then deny us access to that same culture. You disgust me as the worst kind of hypocrits. Just cease to exist.

Re:Its all about the money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15184713)

An ironic statement from someone whose "blog" seems to exist to sell what appears to be a recompiled version of VNC.

Re:Its all about the money (1, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184720)

I've read about the case in several places, and I can't see anywhere anything implying that this is about money.

This is the family objecting to the misuse of the artist's moral rights. They simply do not want arbitrary businesses associating themselves with the artist's work. This is not about the family wanting money, it's about the family not wanting Google to associate itself with Miro.

I do get rather annoyed with typically myopic rants from people who are absolutely sure that because they do everything for money, everyone else does too. I don't particularly dislike Google, so I can't comment on Miro's family's particular issue here, but if I produced art (software is not art), I'd be annoyed if:

- Philip Morris used my theme music to promote their new "Blacklung Cigarettes for kids"

- Hiatt etched one of my drawings on their special edition "Nerve Twister" handcuffs for the Saudi Arabian secret religious police.

- Monsanto released a novel based on my characters, fictional world, and one of my plots, where the hero is able to save the developer of a unique brand of corn that turns poisonous and explodes without warning if grown by unlicensed farmers from a group of patent pirates who plan to remove the license-control genes in order to allow third world countries to grow the corn without a license.

At the very least, I'd want any connection between my name (even if just implied) and the three company's "tributes" to my art removed. Copyright law currently allows that, so I'd be well within my legal rights to do so. This wouldn't be about Philip Morris, Hiatt, or Monsanto giving me money, it would be about my not wanting to be associated with those products.

And as a matter of principle, I'd want other companies that I don't necessarily have anything like as extreme objections to, to ask my permission first.

THAT is what this case is about. Not money.

There is, hard though it may be for many myopic-techies to understand, more to life than money. If you're having trouble understanding that, imagine this is about GNU, not art. Ask yourself how many free software advocates are demanding GPL compliance "for the money"?

but they didn't use HIS art (4, Insightful)

acvh (120205) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184752)

they created their own, in a style that was influenced by him.

imagine if Manet had been able to copyright French Impressionism, or Picasso cubism, or Renoir portraits.

I wonder whose "rights" they're more interested in (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15184527)

The artists, or their shareholders.

Either way, they can kiss my ARS.

Could it be? (5, Funny)

koweja (922288) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184528)

Is it possible that the visual art world is more interested in money than art and expression? I can't believe it.

Could it be?-The "Visual Art World" Borg. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15184560)

"Is it possible that the visual art world is more interested in money than art and expression? I can't believe it."

Funny how "visual art world" is a collective and yet when slashdot hypocrisy is brought up, you all suddenly go to pieces.

Re:Could it be? (3, Interesting)

maggot the shrew (243579) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184733)

Well, the art world like everyone else is trying to make a living off their trade. In this case, like most others of its ilk, it's a family who never contributed one ounce of effort who are trying to make a buck off of a dead relative.

That is the nature of capitalism.

'Intellectual property' concept is going too far (5, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184530)

Well, it seems that after some 50 years or so, we wont be able to use any shape, image, saying, metaphor or the like without consulting an intellectual property expert and acquiring appropriate rights, the way things going.

Re:'Intellectual property' concept is going too fa (4, Funny)

Intron (870560) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184566)

To whom it may concern,

Your use of colored rectanglular windows violates the copyrights of the Mondrian estate. Please refrain from any use of colored rectangles on your site in the future. If you wish to consider licensing the use of these images, the per-rectangle license is quite reasonable. Please contact us at the address listed.

Thank you

Re:'Intellectual property' concept is going too fa (4, Funny)

itzdandy (183397) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184643)

To whem it may concern,

Your use of such a 'warning message' violates the copyrights held by myself on sending such warning messages. in the future if you wish to send such a warning letter you may wish to license the use of specific statements such as "please refrain from" and "your use of XXXX violates the copyrights of"

additionally, my firm maintains a patent on the method of ending such warning letters with false friendlyness and we are currently not licensing the use of the "Thank you" message at this time.

Thank you

©2005 Warning letters and label Co.
®the "To whem it may concern," opening is a registered trade mark of Warning letters and label Co.

Re:'Intellectual property' concept is going too fa (2, Insightful)

itzdandy (183397) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184587)

i see the point that's trying to be made BUT have to make a quick counter point.

google did not just happen to make a logo that looked like miro's style and use it. your comment implies to me that(though exagerated) every idea, shape, color, etc will be taken and one would have to dig deep to make sure that your 'fresh' idea is not too similar to an old one.

instead good DID look at miro's work and made an effort to emulate that work in their logo, though they were giving homage the made an effort to copy. btw i also think that this is ok as long as there is no financial reward from this copy, as it is pay homage! thank you google for being aware and respectful of art and artist.

maybe the ARS should joint the RIAA and MPAA to complete the axis of evil!

Re:'Intellectual property' concept is going too fa (1)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184648)

btw i also think that this is ok as long as there is no financial reward from this copy

Does it matter whether or not there was financial reward? As long as the work wasn't presented as the artist's and only in the artist's style, what standing do they have?

The recent Dan Brown suit would probably be precedent supporting Google.

Re:'Intellectual property' concept is going too fa (1)

itzdandy (183397) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184698)

i suppose this is the only debatable issue here. if some item is of very similar design, or in other words is a blatant copy then it should not be legal unless it is a parody as these are protected by law(in the US anyway)

i feel that the profit part is important because paying respect to an artist should always be allowed but using an artist work for profit should require some license on the work.

i say this in another post but i will say it again here, google intentionally copied miro's style here and it is obvious. has this been for profit then maybe the family could throw a fit! but since it was comemorating the artist then that is ok/good. i do feel that the holder of the copyright(the family?) has the right to have google take it down if they feel and it is reasonable that the image was an offense to the artist.(unless it was a parody!)

just my side though. what do you think?

Re:'Intellectual property' concept is going too fa (1)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184754)

Let's assume Google made money out of this, just for argument's sake.

Did Miro ever paint the word "Google"? If not, how is this a "blatant copy"? This is an original work, just in someone's style. Why should it need a license?

Why should an artist worry "Is this too close to someone's work, will I get sued?". Art builds on what comes before it (as does much of everything). Why even risk the killing of changes in the art world?

CEASE AND DESIST (5, Funny)

vortex2.71 (802986) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184636)

Dear Unity100,

As the legal representative of "PatentRight" a conglomerate of over fifty major multinational companies that have organized to protect their joint legal rights against patent and copyright violation, we hereby inform you that your April 23, 2006 posting to Slashdot (http://slashdot.org/ [slashdot.org] is in violation of five of our clients patent and copyright holdings. Please remove your post immediately: "Well, it seems that after some 50 years or so, we wont be able to use any shape, image, saying, metaphor or the like without consulting an intellectual property expert and acquiring appropriate rights, the way things going." Violations include:

1) The use of "Well" in this context is owned by the American Groundwater Corporation.
2) Bicentenial Celebrations Inc. owns a copyright for the use of "50 years".
3) While "shape, image, saying, metaphor" is not explicitly governed by previous copyright or patent filings, SISM (Systemically Integrated Seismology Measurments, LLC) does own rights to the SISM acronym and has the legal right to slogans which attempt to infringe on this acronym.
4) Several patent law firms are currently in arbitration to decide the legal owners of "Intellectual Property Experts" and your use of this phrase here will not be tolerated.
5) "apropriate rights" is held by Planned Parenthood.

Re:'Intellectual property' concept is going too fa (1)

russellh (547685) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184652)

Well, it seems that after some 50 years or so, we wont be able to use any shape, image, saying, metaphor or the like without consulting an intellectual property expert and acquiring appropriate rights, the way things going.

That's unfettered free market libertarianism for you: feudalism in disguise. swear fealty to your corporate masters. they believe in the common good, it's just that they measure "common" with dollars.

Free market (1)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184735)

Sorry, but you have it 180 degrees backwards. This is not a 'free market'; it is exactly the opposite. It is a market corrupted by an unsupervised government agency that is granting undeserved monopolies.

Re:'Intellectual property' concept is going too fa (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184706)

Fifty years? That's way too far off!

It's about money. Always. (4, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184539)

It seems to me that the art world has a glorious history of incorporating prior art into modern creations. It's amusing to me that ARS doesn't understand that.

It's not that they don't understand, it's more that they're trying very hard to make everybody else forget that fact. They, as well as certain **AAs, behave like rabid dogs protecting their food, so that they have grounds to claim money for the use of this or that piece of art whenever possible and not be contested.

Re:It's about money. Always. (1, Offtopic)

VP (32928) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184624)

They, as well as certain **AAs, behave like rabid dogs protecting their food...

Good thing we know how to deal with rabid dogs...

spotlight (5, Interesting)

gravesb (967413) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184540)

Since I had never heard of the artist until Google used an interpretation of her art as its logo, this seems like it would be a good thing for artists. I have never understood the knee jerk reaction to anything that could possibly be explotive. Its just free publicity in this case, and you would think the family would see that.

Re:spotlight (4, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184549)

I had never heard of the artist until Google used an interpretation of her art

It doesn't look like your knowledge of Miro has improved much since Google educated you.

Miro is a man...

Re:spotlight (4, Informative)

east coast (590680) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184574)

Joan is a he not a she.

But I agree. How much value, both monetary and artistically, did Miro's work lose over this? None is my guess, frankly. While I do support the right to the works of Miro by the current copyright owners I can't see how a simple logo can distort the value of the original works. Although I will say it did make the point as I knew immediately that it was meant to represent Miro when I had seen it on Google originally.

Re:spotlight (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184666)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joan_Mir%C3%B3 [wikipedia.org]

Mir%C3%B3 was a Spaniard & the Europeans have a very expansive view of what constitutes "moral rights" for an artist.

However, the Artists Rights Society is a U.S.A. organization & U.S. law doesn't really support the position they're taking.

If I was Google, I wouldn't f*ck with ARS though, according to the ARS website [arsny.com] , ARS is "a member of CISAC (Confédération Internationale des Sociétés d'Auteurs et Compositeurs), the Paris-based, umbrella organization which oversees the activities of international copyright collecting societies in all media ."

It doesn't really matter if Google was in the right or not. It's one thing to piss off a solitary U.S. organization, but it is another thing entirely to piss off every single artist's rights society in the world. Even if Google won, they would have lost.

Re:spotlight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15184582)

In addition to the above message, that points out that Miró was a man, I would like to explain that "Joan" is the Catalan name for John, and it is pronounced Jo-Ann. Mmm... maybe he was a woman?

Re:spotlight (2, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184597)

maybe he was a woman?

He was a surrealist remember. Ceci n'est pas une man...

Re:spotlight (1)

ostehaps (929761) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184734)

Might I add: Rien n'est pas une man!

Re:spotlight (1)

Kangburra (911213) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184591)

Its just free publicity in this case


Yep, I noticed the logo an went off on a tangent learning about Miro for a while. Now this has come up I just deleted all the links I'd picked up.

Sometimes the publicity is not good.

Re:spotlight (1)

maggot the shrew (243579) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184777)

This is the fourth time I've read about people blaming the damn artist for the actions of their estate and a consortium designed to help other estates of dead artists extract as much wealth as possible for exploiting their dead relatives talent.

Please, don't give up on art or something you enjoy just to make a point that you don't like the nasty political reality of defending copyright. Personally I don't think the Miro estate has any right whatsoever to control the use of works 65+ years old and would be happy to take the fight to them to prevent such obscene restriction of even the most basic elements.

Joan Miro had decades to make lots of money off of his success, and his family are very well off. The works belong to the world now, every bit as much as the Mona Lisa, and the great pyramids. Attitudes like the Parent poster's just reinforce the idiotic paradigm of enforcing copyright for the sake of maintaining ownership.

Re:spotlight (1)

tddoog (900095) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184728)

I think the copyright infringement claim may have been meant to raise the awareness of the artist. I saw the google logo and thought it was neat but had no idea who Miro was. Since I read the article, I have checked out some of his work and it is pretty cool. Not that I have enough money to buy any, but anyhow.. .

As some have said, "There is no such thing as bad publicity"

Re:spotlight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15184750)

Seconded. I thought it was a seriously-cool logo, and took the time to learn a little more about the artist's work. It's discouraging to learn that his estate is a gang of asshats.

It's the same problem I have with software patents. Everything I do as a programmer is built on the ideas of others. What gives me the right to be the one who suddenly starts collecting rents on my own concepts?

It was good (1)

christurkel (520220) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184543)

I thought it was a fine tribute to a great artist. The estate should be honored.

Re:It was good (1, Offtopic)

KarmaMB84 (743001) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184629)

The local BMW dealer doesn't accept honor ;)

Re:It was good (1)

Slashdot Junky (265039) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184661)

That's exactly correct. The association and artist's family should be honored. They should appreciate that the artist is appreciated. Instead, it wants to be paid. This and the crap like it just irritates me.

Later,
-Slashdot Junky

PR (2, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184545)

How many people wouldn't have encountered Miro's work if they hadn't seen it on Google's site? Now how many of those people wouldn't have known who's work it was had ARS not filed a complaint with Google. While their complaint seems semi-valid (though, personally, I doubt it would have held up in court), it seems that in effect this ends up being a big PR move. We now have lots of people who weren't familiar with Miro's work, who now recognize it because of the complaint.

Moral Rights (5, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184548)

"It's a distortion of the original works and in that respect it violates the moral rights of the artist,"
That struck me as a very European viewpoint. However, I went to google and found out that the U.S.A. has similar thoughts (and laws) on the matter.

I can't vouch for this particular article, but similar information shows up on other sites. http://www.carolinaarts.com/902fenno.html [carolinaarts.com]
Many European countries have long recognized artists' personal or "moral" rights in their works of art. Among these rights are the rights of "integrity" (the right to prevent distortion or mutilation of an author's work) and "attribution" (the right of the author to be recognized as the author). These "moral" rights (termed "droit moral" in Europe) spring from a belief that an artist in the process of creation injects his or her spirit into the work. Moral rights are intended to protect the honor and reputation of the artist.

In 1990, Congress enacted the "Visual Artists' Rights Act" (the "Act") to provide protection for artists' moral rights in selected categories of works of art in the United States. The Act is limited in scope, protecting only works of "visual art" that are created on or after June 1, 1991. [Insert what is and isn't protected]

Subject to "fair use" rights and other limitations, the Act provides the author of a work of visual art the right to:

  • Prevent any intentional distortion, mutilation, or other modification of that work which would be prejudicial to his or her honor or reputation;
  • Prevent any intentional or grossly negligent destruction of a work of recognized stature;
  • Claim authorship of the work;
  • Prevent the use of his or her name as the author of any work of visual art that (s)he did not create; and
  • Prevent the use of his or her name as the author of the work of visual art in the event of a distortion, mutilation, or other modification of the work that would be prejudicial to his or her honor or reputation.
...
Since moral rights are intended to protect the honor and reputation of the artist, the Act only protects the rights for the lifetime of the artist. ...

Re:Moral Rights (1)

KarmaMB84 (743001) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184588)

Since the artist died in 1983, it's a safe bet that the US law doesn't apply. It's also interesting that using an artist's *style* or tiny elements of their works is "mutilation" under the moral rights thinking. Is painting the next patent office? "I draw nothing but circles and rectangles and your ovals and rhombuses are mutilations of my work!" Good fucking god.

Re:Moral Rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15184635)

I have a hard time reconciling the so-called 'moral rights' of an individual (as exercised by parasitic copyright-holders) against the moral rights of everyone else engaged in creative work to acknowledge and build upon their influence. Creative ideas, or any ideas for that matter, are not real estate.

Plagiarism: A Collective Vision [detritus.net]

Re:Moral Rights (1)

thrasymachus (232855) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184664)

However, unlike Europe, the US has the "first amendment" which would seem to me to be applicable in this case, and to trump the application of any statutory prohibitions on google's homage to the artist.

Re:Moral Rights (2, Informative)

Thorsten Timberlake (935871) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184729)

So, is that text about the specific work, ie. the actual painting if we're talking Dali or Miro?

Today, art is very much about reference and association (sorry, no, it's not really about the pretty pictures) so if an artist can get the courts word that by referencing his/her work you are mutilating or distorting it and you are prohibited from this practice, art will effectively be at a dead end (and will end up being about the pretty pictures, which would be so very boring imo...)

Also, I can think of a few existing works of art that could be in trouble under these rules, such as Robert Rauschenberg's "Erased de Kooning Drawing" (an important work too!) and some others that would be obscure to mention here (I think RR got both permission and the drawing from de Kooning, though).

Anyway, these google logos are all artistic interpretations of the works of an artist, they honour the artist and should be well within what's allowed.

I don't know... (1)

Quixote (154172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184556)

... what is sadder: the fact that this idiot Theodore Feder thinks such a tribute really _is_ a violation of copyright, or the fact that none of the other artists (especially the popular ones these days) have spoken up about this (too early in Miro's case, but did anybody jump to Google's defense in the Dali case?).

Re:I don't know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15184610)

Somehow, I don't really see many artists coming to the defense of a large corporation, even on those occasions when they might sympatize.

Why would they care? (2, Funny)

expressovi (952511) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184564)

Why would they care? Google has a very small user base, I doubt anyone saw it...

What ever happend to fair use? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184568)

This clearly falls into what should be considered acceptable fair use.

The lawyers have taken over the country ( world ) and are even more dangerous then the government(s) they are manipulating.

Are fonts copyright-able? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15184569)

From a random website:
"The US Copyright Office still officially refuses to accord protection for typeface designs. This is due to a misunderstanding of the field, which has resulted in the United States being the only country in the western world not to recognize the intellectual property in typeface designs."

Re:Are fonts copyright-able? (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184747)

What makes you think there's a misunderstanding? It's deliberate, and it's a good idea. Typefaces shouldn't be copyrightable. Design patents are sufficient, if not too much protection.

Really, no protection should be offered at all, unless it's pretty clear that doing so will yield a greater public benefit than the public cost of granting the protection. Just creating something isn't enough to warrant rights in the creation.

In the typeface field, it seems that there's plenty of creation going on with the natural incentives in the field. This means there's no need for us to add artificial incentives such as copyright; they wouldn't produce a benefit, and they would produce a harm. If typeface designers ever need more of an incentive, then we can reconsider the matter. It's the same reason why we should not grant copyrights for architectural works, or not grant patents for software and business methods.

As for fonts in the US, it is argued that software fonts are actually a computer program which happens to output noncopyrightable letter shapes, and that thus the program is copyrightable. Personally, I think there are serious merger issues to be considered, and in any event there's just the one case on the subject, IIRC. I wouldn't put money on either side.

They don't understand copyrights (3, Informative)

Matt Perry (793115) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184572)

According to Theodore Feder, president of the ARS, "There are underlying copyrights to the works of Miro, and they are putting it up without having the rights"
He's thinking of patents. Copyrights only cover a specific creation of a work. If Google's work was created entirely by them then there's no legal issue here, no matter what ARS thinks. Feder needs to talk to a lawyer before making public statements like that. It only makes him look woefully ignorant of the law (and greedy at the same time).

Re:They don't understand copyrights (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184621)

"He's thinking of patents."

Actually, no, they aren't. US copyright laws are fucked up, but European copyright laws are fucked up in completely unique ways.

Re:They don't understand copyrights (1)

Matt Perry (793115) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184709)

So in Europe you can hold a copyright on an idea?

Re:They don't understand copyrights (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184758)

Well, considering how the idea of moral rights [wikipedia.org] with respect to artists gives the creators the power "to object to any distortion, mutilation or other modification of, or other derogatory action in relation to, the said work," leaving them to decide what is and is not "derogatory" (i. e. "If I didn't get my check, it's derogatory,") I'd say "yes."

Moral rights in the US? (2, Insightful)

Peyna (14792) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184576)

Moral rights in copyrighted works are pretty slim in the US if existent at all. We're supposed to have them as a condition to signing a treaty, but for the most part we really don't. Anything that comes up looking like moral rights ends up being weasled through the Lanham Act rather than copyright law.

Fair use? (4, Interesting)

vidarlo (134906) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184579)

I thought there was something named fair use? Which translated into common sense?

This sounds like complete crap. Such an logo will increase peoples knowledge about the artist, and thus increase the popularity of the artist, and make images more worth. I doubt anyone would tear down their Miro paintings and put up a print of the google logo instead...

The copyright holders should see that google links this to a search on the artist, which probably generates more knowledge about the artist, and more interest for his works. I'd guess there where firms that would pay millions to have their style on the google logo, and a link from the logo to a search of their company name...

Re:Fair use? (1)

xigxag (167441) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184768)

This shouldn't even need to be protected by fair use. They're not using or transforming Miró's work. They're just drawing a picture in a style reminiscent of his. The law may disagree but I don't see why he has any moral right or copyright over a general art style. If Google's tribute is illegal than 99% of the artists in the world would be breaking the law.

420 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15184580)

You know, when I first saw that google logo I actually thought it was in recognition of it being 4/20 day. and I thought "all right, google". Then I found out it was actually an artist (who just happens to paint stoner pictures) and I thought "all right, google, exposing me to art I wasn't aware of before". Then I found out the artist was suing google because they got their works out to a wider audience, and I thought "fuck off, Miro".

Re:420 (2, Informative)

Xiroth (917768) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184641)

I doubt it's the artist who is suing, considering that he's been dead for more than 20 years [wikipedia.org] . It's just his money-grubbing family.

Re:420 (1)

x2A (858210) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184656)

Then I found out the artist was suing google because they got their works out to a wider audience, and I thought "fuck off, Miro"

Then you found out wrong, nobody was suing google over it, especially not the dead artist Miro, idiot.

And the Monkees had "Beatle-like" music (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15184585)

...which doesn't prevent the Monkees from being the greatest band evar!!1!

ARS = stupid (4, Interesting)

Lazy Jones (8403) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184589)

Google's use of Miró's style was a tribute to his art and most likely got millions of users interested in his works and his life. Even if pathetic organizations like ARS are only really interested in raking in the money made from dead artists' works (and not in the honor of the artists, apparently), they should understand that this helps even them make more money.

But kudos to ARS for reminding us that Miró is dead and all the money made from his works goes to some greedy people who have contributed nothing. Miró himself donated many of his works in the hope that he would not be forgotten, but apparently ARS sees no value in keeping that spirit alive. They'd rather have people forget about him than allow anyone to use his "copyrighted" (by them) style for free.

How about nothing? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184593)

Dont even put the word google on there at all, in any font as a protest..

But i am sure somone has copyrighted 'blank space'

The world has gone nuts, and i want off the ride.

Re:How about nothing? (1)

x2A (858210) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184694)

Would probably get sued by the John Cage Trust [cnn.com] :-/

Re:How about nothing? (1)

KarmaMB84 (743001) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184737)

Any artist that has included blank space in their works may sue them for violating their moral rights to a part of one of their works... just having a blank space is a distortion of their work!

Re:How about nothing? (1)

mapinguari (110030) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184785)

Well, there's Malevich's [wikipedia.org] White on White [bc.edu] .

totally STUPID. (1)

w4rl5ck (531459) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184598)

It's more like free marketing support, not like stealing property.

I don't get why they don't understand that. If nobody even KNOWS about an artist, how could he sell his works? I'd even pay a lot of money - if I had any - to be the replacement of the google logo for just 20 minutes (just guess the hits/public notice you would gain from that).

Also, they (google) don't use the image to improve their own product, but to hail the original artists (I think the even explained on a website what the logo change meant - as they usualy do). If this does harm to a copyright, I say, F*CK copyright. Do it now, and do it properly.

Don't like this new world we (some people) are heading to.

Wish Groucho Marx could type up the response (1)

Jim in Buffalo (939861) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184605)

This makes me think of the response Groucho Marx typed up when some weinerdog lawyer tried to stop his new film from being called "A Night in Casablanca" because the name "Casablanca" had already been used in a movie title. Not so much the situation but Groucho's description of how he imagined the lawyer himself.

Re:Wish Groucho Marx could type up the response (4, Interesting)

DerGeist (956018) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184663)

In case anyone is curious, the letter can be found here [chillingeffects.org] .

Re:Wish Groucho Marx could type up the response (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15184704)

..and the entire conversation can be found here [mamohanraj.com] .

Re:Wish Groucho Marx could type up the response (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184719)

What's hilarious is that as I read it, I can hear Groucho Marx's voice. He wrote like he talked.

From Burbank to Africa...freakin' priceless.

omfg. bookmarked.

--
BMO

money! (4, Insightful)

itzdandy (183397) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184611)

this is nothing more than selfishness at work!(ok, maybe some greed!)

paying respect to a dead artist is perfectly acceptable and should be encouraged! this has been happening for 'EVER' and many many many of the most famous artists are only famous now because their work has been emulated and now integrated into modern culture.

no exploitation is happening here, just good ol' respect!

Sheesh! (2, Insightful)

tedgyz (515156) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184612)

"Lighten up Francis!"

The stupid ARS should be happy Miro got all that attention. What exactly do they expect? I guess we can add ARS to the same list as RIAA and MPAA - self-defeating, money-grubbing idiots.

best to ignore them (1)

aurelian (551052) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184649)

The idiots are the people who pay any attention to these timewasters. Let them try and bring lawsuits if they want to.

Moral rights are silly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15184623)

The thing with moral rights is that there's no such thing. Copyright protects works and derivatives and it's copyright law that lets authors and artists enforce their "moral rights". You don't want Microcola splashing your images all over their latest ad campaign, fine but you can't stop them taking inspiration from your work or dedicating the result to your memory. Intangible objects cannot be owned and those who think they can are those who contribute least.

ARS remind me of someone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15184660)

Ridiculously Idiotic Asshole Artists ?

Moronically Pathetic Asshole Artists ?

I guess ARS does not understand great art (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15184669)

I guess ARS does not understand great art or great artists.

http://www.quotedb.com/quotes/3500 [quotedb.com]

Miro sucked eggs anyway. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15184674)

If anything, Google's logo should increase interest in his works. The "estate" is just milking this as a PR opportunity.

Ce n'est pas une problem... (1)

sweetnjguy29 (880256) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184675)

No problemo. Google will be happy to let unknown artists fall into complete obscurity and stop its laudable attempt to educate its millions of daily users about art history.

Oh, when will these "artists" grow up? (3, Funny)

bcarl314 (804900) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184681)

Come on. Maybe I'm a little old fashioned (I am over 20) but I would certainly consider having google make a rendition of my work to (assumedly) celebrate my birthday (or other event) an honor. But I guess if your an "artist" going for the "I'm poor, struggling and not recognized for my talent" approach, this could be devestating to your "morals".

If google really wanted to get all pissy about this, they should just laugh and say "ha ha" it's a parody on your art work and therefore protected! Ha ha you're a funny artist!

Re:Oh, when will these "artists" grow up? (1)

spx (855431) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184781)

Even a poor artist should know what free advertising is. :) Seriously, how many times have you seen a font and then googled who did it to learn more? lol Now if they will just do a rendition of Ansel Adams, then I would really be impressed.

Style (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184684)

Since when can an artist's style be copyrighted? Artists have been copying other artists' styles since the dawn of history. If I want to paint in the style of Miro or Norman Rockwell, there isn't a damn thing they can do about it.

The work is copyrightable not.... (1)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184685)

the style. Money grubbing estates of dead artists are the worst thing ever. Google should've stood their ground and kept it up. Miro probably would've been cool with it. Dali? Dali probably would've objected for some reason OTHER than copyright. He was an odd bird.

My Kindergartener can do that (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184688)

My kindergartener can do that.

Write a frivolous lawsuit, I mean.

The ARS is right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15184699)

I can perfectly well understand the Miro's family's concerns. If I were an artist I would not be very happy if a company used my style to alter their logo. Imagine Microsoft would use the style you are known for for their logo and you received no compensation. You would probably be pissed.

I think Google should not "honour" artists by changing their logo. I think this is inmoral.

What are you guys trying to do? (1)

MonoSynth (323007) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184701)

Slashdotting Google? That's cruel!

What implications? (1)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184705)

Did they rip off the actual work, or did they borrow the style from the artists? Last I checked, borrowing the style is legal. I guess this means that pretty much all anime is in for a lawsuit fest if this be the case...

What about the Olympics? (3, Interesting)

fuzzy12345 (745891) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184714)

When Google did its homage to the Winter Olympics, it did a bunch of winter sports, rather than the perhaps more obvious trick of rearranging the five rounded letters in its name into the Olympic Rings logo. I wonder why?

The obvious conclusion is that Google knows which IP holders not to mess with, and which ones it can probably mess with.

You can't buy that kind of recognition (1)

harvey_peterson (658039) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184740)

Miro is a tremendous artist who - in the general public - never received much publicity (as compared to the Impressionists or, ugh, Thomas Kinkade). I think it is wonderful that Google subverts their logo to give praise to artists, scientists, and special events that are important to the development of the modern world.

And besides, consider how many companies would pay a lot of money for that kind of recognition on Google; and here the ARS is crying foul. Morons.

ARS is for ARSloch (4, Informative)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184742)

Joan Miro himself borrowed and altered some things from other surrealists. Everyone write to president Dr. Theodore Feder at

Artists Rights Society
536 Broadway, 5th Floor
(at Spring St.)
New York, NY 10012
Tel: 212-420-9160
Fax: 212-420-9286

or drop him a line at tfeder AT arsny DOT com

One more reason to keep on piratin'! (2, Insightful)

FatSean (18753) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184760)

You shit out a picture and you and your family own it or anything like it for enternity? Bullshit. One more reason I don't feel bad about copy-right infringement. They cry that no art will be produced without pay...I say this is a blatant lie. There are countless artists out there struggling to be seen. Many produce their works with no expectation of payment.

Let me get this straight... (4, Insightful)

thewiz (24994) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184764)

1. Google puts up company logo in the artistic style of Joan Miro to honor him.
2. Miros and ARS family tells Google to take it down as it is violating copyrights.
3. The net says "WTF?"
4. Profits from publicity? (NOT)

Shouldn't it be:

1. Google puts up company logo in the artistic style of Joan Miro to honor him.
2. Web surfers Google "Joan Miro".
3. More people find they like his art and buy some.
4. Profit goes to his family and everyone's happy.

Sounds like they are being penny-wise and pound-foolish.

Never heard of him until Google (3, Insightful)

lancejjj (924211) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184765)

Admittedly, I was never much into the arts as a kid. But last week I noticed the Google logo and was interested in what or who Google was celebrating.

I clicked on the link and learned all about Joan Miro and his art. After that initial click I become more interested and did some additional research above and beyond what Google offered.

If Google lifted actual elements of Miro's work, then yeah, I'd say it could be a copyright problem. But it's likely a problem that could be easily solved completely in private and without public beratement.

I'd be surprised if the recognition of Miro on Google doesn't result in substaintial financial gains for Miro's license holders, and I'd be shocked if the Miro family approved the public berating of Google by what appears to be a politically inept ARS president, Theodore Feder.

Geez. (1)

anubi (640541) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184767)

Google. Honoring the artist with free publicity.

Its not like they were trying to make any money off Miro, distribute his work under the table, or anything...

And they get bitchslapped?

I don't know what the bringers of the lawsuit were smoking, as I have recently seen many other people smoking the same brand.

Would they have felt any better if Google had offered to give them front page publicity for a handsome fee instead? ( paid to Google, of course... ).

Some people seem kinda weird these days, and don't seem to think anything is worth something unless they had to pay handsomely for it.

Personally, I appreciate all the blessings that come my way, my most treasured blessings I paid not a penny for.

and their net effect was... (1)

notnAP (846325) | more than 8 years ago | (#15184776)

Dear ARS,
      I for one was intrigued by Google's reformatted logo. As a regular Google user, I have come to appreciate the periodic changes Google makes to commemorate events, dates, or occasions with their logo.
      When Google emulated Joan Miro's artistic with their logo a few days, I was similarly intrigued. While I enjoy visual arts, I admit I am completely novice in art history. Sure, like the average layperson, I've heard of Dali. But I had never heard of Joan Miro prior to Google's recognition.
      And I liked what I saw. I searched through a few of the links, viewed a few of the images posted thereon, and enjoyed what I saw.
      Now, I see that Joan Miro's legacy is apparently in the hands of those who would do everything possible to limit the distribution of that style of artwork. I certainly understand the concept of copyrighting actual works. But the idea that you also have the right to stop people to even imitate? And in this case, it's not even as if Google was imitating with the intent to claim the style was of their own invention. Instead, they went out of their way to point those interested to information about the actual creator.
      By your reasoning, it would be illegal to impersonate John Wayne, Dick Clark, Jerry Lee Lewis, or other notable and memorable performers whose style was an integral part of their allure. Surely, Jey Leno isn't breaking the law by saying "nice lady" in Lewis' Nutty Professor style while mocking France during a weekly opening monolgue on the Tonight Show. Instead, to all but the most idiotic, we are all reminded yet again how powerful and influential an artist the original Jerry Lee Lewis was.
      It's a shame we cannot consult Joan Miro about whether or not this is "acceptable." I for one have no doubt it is "legal," and even "moral."
      But as long as organizations like yours are the ones controling Joan Miro's legacy and the effect Miro's artwork has on the world, I can promise you I will avoid it. To do otherwise would be to forward an organization whose behavior I consider contrary to the wishes of the typical artist, as well as contrary to greater good the art world tries to offer soceity as a whole.
      You have pushed many people away from Joan Miro's work. Congratulations. as this seems to have been your real motive.

Time to strip them some rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15184790)

It's come time for stripping some right holder from their right.
they show us that they only abuse from what, we, the people, gracefuly, conceded them.
It's time that we take back our rights and send them back to work, real, hard, painy work.
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