p2p news / p2pnet:- Japan’s Yokohama municipal government is being sued for allegedly infringing the copyright of a painting by posting images for an auction.
“The suit was filed with the Tokyo District Court by the Art Copyright Center, Ltd., based in Nakano Ward, Tokyo, which as the painting’s copyright agent said the city had failed to obtain consent from the painter or the company,” says the Yomiuri Shimbun, going on:
“According to the bill of complaint, the painting was obtained by the city from a resident in lieu of unpaid city taxes. In February, the city began auctioning goods seized from debtors via the Internet, including the painting. Three images of the painting were posted – two of the complete picture and one showing a magnified image of the artist’s signature. In the suit, the Art Copyright Center says the city did not ask its consent to post said images and was guilty of copyright infringement. The firm asked the court to order the city to take the images off the Internet and pay royalties of 170,000 yen (more than $1,490).”
The Yokohama municipal government maintains the images “were slightly blurred before being posted on the Internet, and in the words of an official, were ‘not copies, which need a copyright license’," says the story. " ‘Even if they are seen as copies, they were for reference and still don’t require a license’."
But Atsushi Yamato, an an expert on copyright law, says a copyright license is needed for public auctions as well as in other cases, adds the Yomiuri Shimbun.
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Yomiuri Shimbun – City sued for copyright infringement, October 14, 2005