Banana attaccata con scotch al muro: 1) è opera d’arte ? 2) in caso positivo , riprodurla con leggere differenze viola il copyright?

I distretto sud della Florida  risponde positivamente ad entrambe le domande (Southern District of Florida , 6 luglio 2022, Case 1:t21-cv-20039-RNS , Morford c. Cattelan).

Sentenza interssante per il ragionamento condotto sui sempre scivolosi due temi citati.

Si v. le opere a paragone, ben riprodotte in sentenza.

Sub 1: While using silver duct tape to affix a banana to a wall may not espouse
the highest degree of creativity, its absurd and farcical nature meets the
“minimal degree of creativity” needed to qualify as original.
See Feist, 499 U.S.
at 345;
see also Kevin Harrington Enters., Inc. v. Bear Wolf, Inc., No. 98-CV-
1039, 1998 WL 35154990, at *6 (S.D. Fla. Oct. 8, 1998) (Ungaro, J.) (noting
that originality involves “the author’s subjective judgment in giving visual form
to his own mental conception”) (citing
Burrow-Giles Lithographic Co. v. Sarony
111 U.S. 53, 60 (1884)). While the Court cannot—and need not—give meaning
to Banana & Orange, at this stage the Court holds that Morford’s choices in
giving form to Banana & Orange are sufficiently original (p. 8).

sub 2: stabilito che ci fu “access potenziale”, secondo il diritto usa, stante la pluriuma presenza in rete (P. 8/9), IL GIUDICE si volge al requisito della substanzial similarity,. che viene ravvisata. Qui occorre tornare alle riproduizioni dele due iopere.

INizia col ricordare la alternativa ideaespression (solo la seconda è tutelabile)., di difficile applicaizone al caso nostro.

e dice: << While Morford is afforded no protection for the idea of a duct-taped
banana or the individual components of his work, Morford may be able to claim
some degree of copyright protection in the “selection, coordination, [and]
arrangement” of these otherwise unprotectable elements.
See Off Lease, 825 F.
App’x at 726 (discussing copyrighted works “formed by the collection and
assembling of preexisting materials . . . that are selected, coordinated, or
arranged in such a way that the resulting work as a whole constitutes an
original work of authorship”) (quoting 17 U.S.C. § 101)).

In particular, Morford
can claim some copyright protection in the combination of his choices in color,
positioning, and angling.
See Off Lease, 825 F. App’x at 727 (holding that
copyright protection extended to “the outline, the [component’s] shape, and the
elaborate color scheme”);
see also Corwin v. Walt Disney Co., No. 6:02-cv-1377,
2004 WL 5486639, at *16 (M.D. Fla. Nov. 12, 2004) (holding that an “artist’s
selection as to how the [model pieces] were arranged in the painting, the colors
associated with the elements, and the overall structure and arrangement of the
underlying ideas” are protectable) (citing
Leigh, 212 F.3d at 1216).
Of course, there are only so many choices an artist can make in colors,
positioning, and angling when expressing the idea of a banana taped to a wall.
In general, this is called the merger doctrine—where the idea and the
expression of that idea merge.
See BUC Int’l, 489 F.3d at 1142 (holding that the
merger doctrine “provides that ‘expression is not protected . . . where there is
only one or so few ways of expressing an idea that protection of the expression
would effectively accord protection to the idea itself’”) (quoting
BellSouth, 999
F.2d at 1442)). However, Cattelan did not argue that the merger doctrine
applies (ECF No. 53 at 14 n.8), so the Court will not consider whether the
merger doctrine precludes any finding of infringement here.
Last, the comparison step. The Court finds, at the motion-to-dismiss
stage, that Morford sufficiently alleges that there is similarity in the (few)
protected elements of Banana & Orange. In both works, a single piece of silver
duct tape runs upward from left to right at an angle, affixing a centered yellow
banana, angled downward left to right, against a wall. In both works, the
banana and the duct tape intersect at roughly the midpoints of each, although
the duct tape is less centered on the banana in Morford’s work than in
Cattelan argues that the presence of additional elements in Banana &
Orange—namely, an orange, the green background, and the use of masking
tape borders—weigh against a finding of substantial similarity. (ECF No. 49
Case 1:21-cv-20039-RNS Document 56 Entered on FLSD Docket 07/06/2022 Page 10 of 11
at 13.) However, when determining copyright infringement, courts look to “the relative portion of the copyrighted work—not the relative portion of the
infringing work[.]”
See Peter Letterese and Assocs., Inc. v. World Inst. of
Scientology Enters.
, 533 F.3d 1287, 1307 (11th Cir. 2008) (noting that
otherwise defendants would be permitted to copy verbatim as long as they did
not copy an entire work).

In other words, “[t]he extent of copying must be
assessed with respect to both the quantitative and the qualitative significance
of the amount copied to the copyrighted work as a whole.
Id. (citing MiTek, 89
F.3d at 1560 & n.26);
see also Newman, 959 F.3d at 1302 (“Quantitatively
insubstantial copying may still be actionable if it is qualitatively substantial.”).
Here, while Banana & Orange contains additional elements that Morford does
not allege were copied, Morford’s duct-taped banana constitutes half of his
work, meaning that it is quantitatively significant to Banana & Orange.
Moreover, given its prominent positioning in Banana & Orange, Morford’s
banana is qualitatively significant as well.
See Newman, 959 F.3d at 1310
(holding that “[q]ualitative significance is often apparent on the face of the
copied portion of a copyrighted work”) (citing
Peter Letterese, 533 F.3d at 1315).
Therefore, the alleged infringement of Morford’s banana is sufficient,
quantitatively and qualitatively, to state a claim.
>>, p. 10-11.