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Author Topic: Pixar's lamp is a copyright infringement  (Read 9160 times)

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« on: September 06, 2009, 14:23 »
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The little lamp that jumps around in the intro of Pixar's films is based on a norwegian design from 1937 (Luxo L-1). The Luxo company still produces lamps, and this particular lamp has sold 25 million times all over the world.

The company has protested against the copyright infringement, but haven't taken it to court as long as it only was a animated figure. Disney are now selling lamps based on the cartoon. Of course the company who made the original lamp are protesting. Disney has even given the copy the same name as the original lamp!

Norwegian article where you can see pictures of the original: http://www.aftenposten.no/nyheter/uriks/article3254204.ece
The copy lamp:
http://gizmodo.com/5345116/up-limited-edition-blu+ray-to-come-with-real-luxo-jr


« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2009, 18:36 »
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I wonder if Disney can afford a lawsuit after just acquiring Marvel Comics for $4B?

 :D

« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2009, 20:31 »
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Not very 'bright' of them to even use the same name.

i do see some design differences though. The shade is shaped differently in the Pixar version form the original.

There are a lot of high intensity desk lamps around.
I have a daylight balanced one clamped to my desk right now that looks very similar to the Pixar lamp. It is an Eiko SoLux.

« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2009, 01:55 »
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Of course it looks a bit different, but when Pixar all the time have been open about the animation being based on the Luxo L-1, and Disney gives the copy the same name, there can be no doubt that they have stepped into the salad.

The Luxo company was recently bought by Glamox, one of the most important employers in my home town. Hope they manage to get a decent pile of money out of Disney.

« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2009, 16:45 »
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Hope they manage to get a decent pile of money out of Disney.

Very good! They have money, considering the unusually high license fees for using their characters.
Let's see from the other side. What if the lamp factory starts to use Mickey Mouse as a lamp in 1937, named Mickey Mouse Lamp and today Disney discovers this? That would be a sad story for the factory...

Edit: Also I like the idea, the factory can only win, stating they are selling the "original" Pixar lamp, nothing more. In return, name the lamp "Pixar Luxo L-1". Both sides equal.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 16:48 by icefront »

« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2009, 17:08 »
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Being an industrial designer by education, I don't quite understand the fuss about infringement in this case. By looking at the links of the OP, Pixar's lamp might be inspired on the original design, but is in essence entirely different - use of materials, means of production and even construction. Besides, as the original design dates back to 1937, any claims on intellectual property (if any) will have expired (the limit on design and patents is approx 25 years, hence photos of old timers are still accepted or should not be rejected based on copyrights). The worst that can happen is that they'll have to change the name. I'm not a lawyer, but I'm willing to take the bet that Disney and Pixar are safe.

To draw a - dangerous and possibly a weaker - parallel, think of all the objects we (some of us) shoot on a daily basis. And I'm not talking about "luxury cars", or any other logo, but plain coffee makers, school boards, sofas, road signs, clothes(!) and such. They've all been designed by someone, and that someone legally holds the copyrights or has transferred those rights to the manufacturer of those goods. We exploit the intellectual creativity of others just as much. Rules have tightened, but copyright is not limited to the things we're not allowed to shoot.

In other words, what's the difference between the looks of a coffee maker and the face of a playing card. The latter is being rejected because of copyright issues by some agents, the former is likely to be accepted (notwithstanding image quality, of course)


« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2009, 18:08 »
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Besides, as the original design dates back to 1937, any claims on intellectual property (if any) will have expired (the limit on design and patents is approx 25 years, hence photos of old timers are still accepted or should not be rejected based on copyrights).

Just a note: copyright and patent have different rules. 

« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2009, 01:12 »
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The idea of "owning ideas" is ridiculous. Watch this and I guarantee you'll never look at patent or copyright in the same way ever again. I disagree with the lecturer about about free market licensing though, I think something would rise up even if you couldn't go after 3rd parties, you could institute all kinds of penalties for letting it out to them.

Intellectual Property and Libertarianism

« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2009, 02:16 »
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A patent attorney that does not believe in IP  :o
Can you say Oxymoronic?

The arguments put forth were weak and unsupported.

« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2009, 02:49 »
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A patent attorney that does not believe in IP  :o
Can you say Oxymoronic?

LOL, I did find that funny myself.

The arguments put forth were weak and unsupported.

I wouldn't totally agree its weak or unsupported. Ideas snowball naturally, I bet you've had some of your own, but they only came into existence by adding on top of other peoples ideas that you were taught, observed, etc... Now imagine having to pay "X" of dollars for every idea you've had that built on top of or slightly modified someone else's - simply because its "too similar" to some other persons idea. It quickly gets ludicris, especially when you're dealing with methods/ways of doing things.

Even if you can't accept his concept of ownership, you have to to at least acknowledge the fact that IP laws have expiration dates as being an argument against their own validity! If you really own the idea - why have an expiration date or need for renewal of ownership???

I'm not saying don't give credit where credit is due, or go out and pirate DVDs, I'm simply stating the obvious - you can't own ideas unless you keep it to yourself, but even that doesn't mean it won't pop up inside some other persons brain. The real solution is to be the first one to the market, and to continue innovating with newer better ideas before others can catch up. As for free market protection of ideas, theres plenty of mechanisms already in place, simply because its so darn hard to enforce IP laws as it is, people have taken matters into their own hands. Why do you think all photo agencies watermark their sample shots?


 

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