Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Two great tastes that taste great together

Two of my enthusiasms, plastination and copyright, meet. It is an interesting, possibly exam-worthy question: if I skin and preserve a body in the same pose as my rival plastinator, have I infringed his copyright in a sculptural work? I am inclined to think that the pose is the idea and using a different body prevents infringement, but the case law is far from certain -- the case about taxidermy forms, in particular, would seem to provide my rival with a colorable claim. (Side note: the body would be a useful article, I think, but its precise configuration might be conceptually separable from its utility. Ah, the puzzles of copyright law.)