What a Bunch of Bull

Do the rights of artists extend beyond the physical spaces that their creations take up? A court of law might have to answer that question in an odd case taking place in New York City.

From USA Today, April 12, 2017:

“”Charging Bull” is ready to rumble with “Fearless Girl.”

The sculptor who created the iconic “Charging Bull” statue in New York City’s financial district says the city and an investment company violated his rights by installing the newly popular “Fearless Girl” statue near his creation without permission for what amounts to a commercial ad campaign. . .

. . . Di Modica’s copyright on his sculpture would last for his lifetime, plus 70 years, said David Shipley, a professor at the University of Georgia School of Law. Similarly, the artist’s trademark on the “Charging Bull” would remain in effect as long as Di Modica keeps it registered and in use, said Oliver Chernin, one of the sculptor’s lawyers.

Nonetheless, “it’s a stretch to say that his copyright extends to the radius around where the artwork was placed,” said Shipley.”

Does the creator of the “Charging Bull” statue have a valid case, or is his complaint just a bunch of bull?

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