Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Gainsborough's "Lady in Blue" Painting at the Center of Copyright Dispute

Thomas Gainsborough's painting, "Lady in Blue", is at the heart of a dispute between the State Hermitage museum and Petersburg fashion designer, Ии Йоц (Iya Yots).  Last year, the Hermitage museum (home to "Lady in Blue") filed suit against Yots, claiming that her reproduction of "Lady in Blue" on her website and in images at her Petersbug clothing store was a copyright violation.  Yots countered that the painting was in the public domain and could, therefore, be used by any person without permission from the Hermitage.  Initially, the Arbitration Court and the Sixteenth Appellate Court ruled in favor of the Hermitage.  In September of last year, however, the newly formed Court of Intellectual Property granted a cassation appeal in favor of Yots, setting up the pending hearing.  According to the website, the Supreme Arbitration Court is expected to consider the dispute at a January 21st hearing.


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