“People” are back under the spotlights! But this time, intellectual property aspects will be dealt with. Some say that “People” would be nothing without paparazzi. But do paparazzi have a copyright on their pictures? A fashion show is also amongst the place to be but …is this event open to copyright protection? Turning lastly to the “People” themselves, we will make an IP wink to our now French first Lady.


From paparazzi …
Paparazzi are not far away when it comes to scandalous pictures. They will certainly now be scandalised by the Paris Court of Appeal as it has just ruled that copyright protection does not apply to paparazzi pictures! The decision is based on the passive behaviour of paparazzi when taking pictures. The judge regarded their work as being a material arrangement of the camera for the sole purpose of being ready to capture a star once he/she would show off. The lack of any artistic arrangement, specific searched angle and choice of the moment of the pictures brought to consider the pictures as not original.

This is good sense: paparazzi are rather considered as technical persons than artistic creators under copyright point of view. Paparazzi pictures are not however definitively excluded from copyright but cases will be very limited as a higher level of artistic effects is required.

…To fashion shows …
The French High Court ruled on February 5, 2008, that copyright could exist on a fashion show itself. This copyright has been considered globally i.e. as applying to the overall fashion shows itself and not only to each of its components like lights and colours effects, clothing disclosed, etc…

The background of the matter was relating to the broadcast (without authorization of fashion houses) on a website of pictures taken during several fashion shows. The solution must be approved and adds another artistic work to the long but not limitative list of possible original creations provided by the French Intellectual Property Code.

…Without forgetting Mrs Carla BRUNI !
This “people” tour would not be complete without mentioning the French first lady. The IP policy of famous mannequin is rather focussed on domain names. Most (but not all) generic and national extensions belong to her. Her trademark policy is however reduced to none. This would not be detrimental for bringing WIPO complaints considering the possibility to raise common law rights as it was the case for Julia ROBERTS, Jimi HENDRIX, Stan GETS and so on. But the situation might be more complicated for attacking trademarks before the INPI or the OHIM and deprive from a trademark counterfeiting claim before a Court.

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