Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Judge Tosses Euth's Lawsuit Against Green Day
Oh man. The good guys don't always win.
The Hollywood Reporter put out an article explaining how a Federal Judge dismissed a suit by Los Angeles street artist 'Euth' for taking his street image and using it as the backdrop for a song during their US concert tour.
The judge ruled that it was 'transformative use'. This was largely based on the testimony of Euth himself, who got caught in a tricky Catch 22 like scenario. Euth said that because Green Day took the image without permission and plastered a big red cross across the face, that it "maliciously devalues the original intent". But that, the judge says, makes it transformative.
It seems that Euth has more than a valid point, and the verdict brings up a lot of questions about fair-use. What qualifies and what does not? In this case, it seems that an image was stolen, and then defaced, and then that image was used by a corporation for monetary gain, and that's okay. But if the stolen piece had not been defaced, that would be a violation? It seems like the deface part makes the violation more heineous, but the judge's ruling states that is what makes it okay?
Kinda puzzling. And it is unfortunate that Euth's art got used in this way. Guess the good guys finish last, and they don't always win.