Thursday, 11 February 2010
Thank you, Arthur Heard (HarperCollins) for letting us know about Logorama, a short animated film that received critical acclaim at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. Written and directed by the French H5 team of François Alaux and Herve de Crecy, the film is effectly crafted from a plethora of highly recognisable brand logos and corporate mascots -- as well as fictional icons such as the Buy N Large logo from Pixar’s Wall-E. Disappointingly, the use of brands extends only to the visual dimension of this imaginative work: for the sake of consistency -- though it would probably irritate the hell out of viewers -- the sound-track did not consist of stitched-together jingles.
A film of this nature inevitably involves fascinating legal issues. Copyright in trade marks extends to logos but not generally to single words, and whether the use made of the logos here is regarded as transformative, fair per se, marginally infringing or as a pernicious stain on the integrity of the logo itself is a matter that varies as between the subjective view of copyright lawyers as well as the country-by-country rules that determine inherent protectability and the scope of protection (all of this is to say nothing of the issues arising from trade mark law and from infringement of Community design rights). As ever, readers' comments are welcomed.