Sexy People Doing Sexy Things Isn’t Enough: YA Novelist Cassandra Clare Accused of Plagiarism Again

Sexy supernatural men falling in love with and protecting attractive young heroines, and the world, collide as NYT romance bestseller Sherrilyn Kenyon has sued YA bestseller Cassandra Clare for allegedly plagiarizing her hit Dark-Hunter series. Kenyon started writing the Dark-Hunter books in 1998, and has been releasing bestselling novels within that universe consistently ever since. Clare’s first Shadowhunters book, City of Bones, came out in 2007. Both series focus on “elite” warriors that protect the “human world” from an unseen paranormal threat, stopping the enslavement of humanity. Both introduce this concept through a heroine who does not know she is one of these warriors until saved by a handsome, gothic, tattooed, blond man who is a powerful warrior. However; where Kenyon’s books are decidedly adult, featuring some … steamy scenes, Clare’s YA (young adult) novels have reached a much broader audience. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones was made into a movie in 2013, and although it was panned by critics and flopped at the box office, a TV show, “Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments,” premiered on ABC Family in January of 2016. Apparently this was the last straw, and on February 5, 2016, Kenyon sued Clare for trademark and copyright infringement based on the similarities between the Dark-Hunter and Shadowhunters names and stories.

Ehhhhhhh....

Shadowhunters TV Show – Says it all, really

A juicy tidbit in this story is that this is not the first time Clare has been accused of plagiarism. Continue reading

Graffiti Counts 2: Why Freedom of Speech Doesn’t Save Katy Perry’s MET Gala Dress

Back in August, we covered the outrage surrounding Katy Perry’s attire to the Annual Met Gala. The scandal was twofold, first, Perry’s gown featured an avant-garde graffiti design when the Gala theme was clearly “Chinese exhibition,” and secondly, the graffiti design was taken and used without the artist’s permission, constituting copyright infringement. Ergo; our last post focused on the legality of graffiti, as a clearly copyrightable work, framed in terms of the public sphere versus the public domain, and moral rights. Rime, who created the stolen work, sued Italian luxury fashion house Moschino, and now Moschino has formally responded.

Yeesh.

Katy Perry in the gown at the 2015 Met Gala with the Moschino Creative Director

What did the Five Fingers Say to the Face? SLAPP!

On December 7, 2015, Moschino filed a motion to strike the entire complaint pursuant to California’s Anti-SLAPP statute. SLAPP stands for Continue reading

No Sweat, Yoga Poses aren’t Copyrightable

Yoga is “a system of exercises for attaining bodily or mental control and well-being.” When he was four years old, Bikram Choudhury studied yoga in Calcutta, India. In 1971, when he was twenty-five years old, he introduced yoga to Beverly Hills. In 1979, Choudhury published Bikram’s Beginning Yoga Class, a book including descriptions, designs, and photographs of how to perform his now-famous, ninety minute sequence of twenty-six hatha yoga postures and two breathing exercises in a studio kept at 104°F (to mimic the Indian climate). Choudhury always emphasized, “If you follow my instruction and do my yoga postures Sequence to the best of your ability, you will live a better, healthier and more peaceful life.” By 1994, he started the “Bikram Yoga Teacher Training Course,” and in 2011 sued two of his former students for starting a yoga studio featuring “hot yoga,” which includes twenty-six postures and two breathing exercises done for ninety minutes in a 105°F room. Continue reading

A Very Merry Unbirthday to Warner Music Group

Ever wondered why restaurants insist on doing weird clapping cheers instead of just singing Happy Birthday To You? It’s because, for the past eighty years or so, various copyright owners have jealously protected the song, demanding licensing fees for its commercial use. In 1988, Warner/Chappell (Warner) acquired the copyright and makes about $2 million annually in royalties from it. Or at least they used to. Continue reading

Graffiti Counts Too: Why Katy Perry’s MET Gala Dress is Less High Fashion and More High Crime

She’s done it again. Katy Perry has found herself in the middle of yet another scandal. Ignoring the suggested theme of “Chinese exhibition,” Perry attended the 2015 Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Met Gala in an Italian high-fashion Moschino gown featuring a graffiti design. Etiquette and possible fashion faux pas aside, there was one other glaring problem with the couture – the graffiti designs were blatantly stolen from a well-known artist, Rime. Continue reading