How Close is Not Close Enough?

Madeline Bugh While most art can be protected by copyright laws, if a “new” piece of art is too similar to an original piece, then it cannot be protected. The work of art, at the very least, must be “a new and original expression of some previous work.” Davidson v. United States, No. 13-942C, 2018 Fed. Cl. WL 3213604, at *10 (Fed. Cl. Jun. 29, 2018). For instance, there lies a thin line between creating a new embodiment of artistic expression of the Statue of Liberty, and a mere replica. However, this begs the question of where exactly lays the line that separates a mere replica and a new interpretation of art?Fortunately for us, that fine line may have gotten just a bit clearer after the United States Court of Federal Claims issued a $3.5 Million judgment in favor of an artist who created his own interpretation of the Statue of Liberty. Davidson, 2018 Fed. Cl. at *1. Mistaking it for the iconic…

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