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July 17, 2023
John Rizvi, Esq.

Copyright Lawsuit on Duct-Taped Banana Art: The Patent Professor® on WIOD Radio in Miami

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Brian Mudd show is on NewsRadio 610 Who D

we can do anything and once you're established you can get away with debt. By no no, no, no, no. We make a lot of

money believe this more appealing piece that right $120,000 represents the art world and its gaping wealth inequalities. It's mocking the art world. That's what Marita Catalan does

if that was a CNN base, I liked that their angle on that stories, wealth inequality through art, okay, fine. Remember that? Remember Art Basel a few years back, the banana taped to the wall. We had some fun with that one. Pretty remarkable when you tape a banana to a wall and sell that thing for 120 grand. Anyway, this one caught my attention because guess what? The banana? It's long gone, but it is in the news. Why? Well, could there have been a violation employee there? Joining us to talk about it is South Florida's own the patent Professor John Rizvi joins us again. What's going on here?

Yeah, so interestingly enough, this was not the first time a banana was taped to a wall. And I would think it was the first to kind of surprise me to hear about this. But apparently, a an artist Joe Morford claims that back in 2000, he had taped both an orange and a banana to a wall, similarly and there and filed for a copyright. And therefore he's claiming infringement.

No kidding. I mean, there are no new ideas at the point where you tape a banana to the wall. And that's been done. And you're right. There are new No, no new ideas up. So John, I mean, what's the deal? Yours? There's any kind of legitimate claim, or is this just somebody looking for some attention?

Yes. So no, I There absolutely is a legitimate claim. Copyright Law has a very low threshold for originality. And that's why photographs are copyrightable. Like there's, you know, obviously, the Eiffel Tower, for example, any any buildings, any structures, there are 1000s, and 1000s, millions of people taking photographs. But each one has a sufficient originality to be copyrightable. Like, there's the different angles, the sun, the lighting, all of these things make a difference. I guess the question is, is there? Is there more than one way to tape a banana to a wall? And if the answer is yes, there's more than one way to tape a banana to a wall, the angle of the duct tape, the lighting, there's so much involved in this case, I think, you know, there's a few differences. They're incredibly minor. I mean, the plaintiff's original 2000 Banana that was taped, was a synthetic banana, but you really can't tell that anyone looking at it. And his was taped on the green paper, Murrayfield, Catlins, banana is taped to a white wall. The angles are slightly different. I mean, I think the judge did the right thing in this case, by not dismissing the lawsuit on a motion to dismiss I you know, regardless of what we think about this, in terms of art, I think the plaintiff is entitled to their day in court at least to show that they have met that sufficient minimum originality requirement to to sustain the case from being dismissed.

Well, look, I mean, to your point, it to the extent that it is legitimized by virtue of somebody laying down 120 grand for then I suppose there is you know, potentially a financial claim that component to what you're talking about here based upon what you just laid out, although, this does beg for a bit of a show trial because I could just imagine, you know, the the attorneys on both sides showing the angles of their the, their bananas and the tape and the methodology that would be that'd be a new one for sure.

It is a new one and you know, what, with those that first sale for $120,000, like the you know, it shocked the art world, but the plaintiff is seeking damages of $390,000 because there were three there were three sales so it's not you know, it's not just a one time crazy buyer that went out and paid this apparently there's you know, that's that's the going price for a banana tape duct taped to a wall.

And there you go. There you go. It says the patent And of course he's South Florida's own Patent Professor John Rizvi appreciate it as always

Always a pleasure thank you

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