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Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.





Copyright Notice: We don't think much of copyright, so you can do what you want with the content on this blog. Of course we are hungry for publicity, so we would be pleased if you avoided plagiarism and gave us credit for what we have written. We encourage you not to impose copyright restrictions on your "derivative" works, but we won't try to stop you. For the legally or statist minded, you can consider yourself subject to a Creative Commons Attribution License.


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Seattle Glass Artist Sues Over Copyright Infringement

The New York Times today reports on a Seattle glass artist, Dale Chihuly, who is suing two other artists, one a former colleague, for copyright infringement. He claims they are producing knockoffs of his sea-inspired shapes and colors; they say that the lip wraps and ripples he designs "have been around for centuries." Bryan Rubino, his former collaborator says he could be ruined by the lawsuit, which of course is the point of it. What better way to knock off the competition than by knocking it off through the courts? It's less messy than using guns, knives, and fisticuffs.

Karrin Klotz, a copyright lawyer and B-school lecturer at the University of Washington, says that Picasso copyrighted a few lines on a pad because of their distinctiveness, but a 2003 US Court of Appeals said, more sensibly, that ideas expressed in nature cannot be copyrighted.

Scott Wakefield, Mr. Rubino's lawyer, gives us the money quote:

"If the first guy who painted Madonna and Child had tried to copyright it, half of the Louvre would be empty."

Where is the libertarian William Kuntsler when we need him? Jim Ostrowski, call your office.

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