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.


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


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

Left Shark 2: Don’t Go in the Water (or in this case, USPTO)

In a previous blog post, we covered the drama surrounding Katy Perry’s attempted copyright claims over the now infamous Super Bowl Left Shark against artist Fernando Sosa and his three dimensional “left shark” figurines. However, the tenacious pop star refuses to give up “unconditionally,” and filed several trademark applications with the US Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) in February 2015, for two design marks representing Left Shark (App. Nos. 86/529,342 and 86/529,321), and the word marks LEFT SHARK (App. No. 86/526,826), BASKING SHARK (App. No. 86/527,055), DRUNK SHARK (App. No. 96/527,031), and, not to be forgotten, RIGHT SHARK (App. No. 86/526,829) for use in connection with a variety of goods (including figurines) as well as live music and dance performance services.

Unfortunately for Perry and her company, Killer Queen, LLC, the USPTO hasn’t been “hot n cold” so much as freezing. Continue reading

This Is How She Do: Katy Perry Threatens Copyright Suit Over “Left Shark”

The Super Bowl halftime show is nearly as big an event as the Super Bowl itself. Millions of people – many who are less than enthusiastic about football – tune in every year, so it is no surprise that the Left Shark during Perry’s “California Gurls” number received much recognition.

Perry had two dancing sharks behind her while she sang, and unfortunately, the Left Shark, found on “stage right,” seemed to have no idea what was going on, dancing off-tempo and making up its own moves in the background. Left Shark became an instant internet sensation, dancing into jokes, memes, and .gifs. And because the internet is a wonderful medium for the entrepreneurial spirit, Left Shark merchandise began appearing almost immediately afterward. Continue reading