Big fat copyright

In Belgium, the government started a campaign in 2006 to increase public awareness of energy consumption and to encourage the reduction of it. An advertising agency created a remarkable campaign with fat and slothful electronic devices.  Initially, the electronic devices concerned a washing machine and a refrigerator. In subsequent years, the campaign was expanded with new images, last year a car with obesity was introduced.

This campaign was and still is very successful. It has even won some advertising awards. Downside of a lot of attention is now the claim of plagiarism by the artist Erwin Wurm. This artist designed a similar fat car with the distinctive name Fat Car in 2001 (see below a picture). A lawsuit has been started.

This is obviously an interesting copyright case.  The idea of a fat car is the same in both expressions. But ideas are not protected in copyright, it is all about the final work. When comparing these cars we see many similarities.  It would therefore be our initial advise to the advertising agency to settle this case as soon as possible. The risk of an injunction is present and this would not be very pleasant for the Belgium government (understatement).  To be continued!

Source: The Standard

Arnaud Bos

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