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Artist alleges Netflix, Amazon violated copyright law

On Behalf of | Jan 11, 2020 | Copyright Law

Artists of all kinds here in New York need to ensure that their creations are protected from usage by entities that haven’t properly licensed them. Copyright law exists so that artists have the legal means to safeguard what is theirs and receive fair compensation for their work. Copyright can be a difficult issue to understand, but it is an important one nonetheless. Recently, some questions around copyright have come up regarding how artwork is used in films. One artist recently filed litigation over the use of his artwork in a film distributed by Amazon and Netflix.

The artist whose work is the subject of this case created a map of a Caribbean island. Due to the map’s antique style, it was used in a 2012 movie called “Lay the Favorite” which starred Bruce Willis. The artist decided to file a copyright suit, citing irreparable harm.

The question that the court will have to determine is whether usage of the map falls under fair use. If the map served as the inspiration for the movie, the claim might be a bit more cut and dried. However, the map is shown in multiple scenes of the movie and a fair use analysis may need to be conducted to figure out whether companies involved in producing the movie should have licensed the artwork. 

However this particular case turns out, it underscores just how imperative it is that artists have legal protections for their work. In New York, artists can turn to an attorney with comprehensive knowledge of copyright law. Doing so may be the most effective method of ensuring that creative works are properly licensed.