jeff koons : can one copyright a balloon animal?

jeff koons : can one copyright a balloon animal?

bookend ballon dog

lawyers of american artist jeff koons issued a cease-and-desist letter to park life, a small san francisco store and gallery, asking them to stop selling and advertising their balloon dog bookends

can koons own something that existed before him? also considering that the artist has based his whole career on appropriating pop culture and has been repeatedly sued for inappropriately using others’ copyrighted images.

jeff koons : can one copyright a balloon animal?


the balloon dog bookend is unquestionably like koons’ ‘balloon dog’ ; on the other hand, they both look like any children’s birthday party balloon animal and if you would try to build one it would probably look very similar too. parklife published a comment ‘jeff koons owns all likenesses of balloon dogs‘. the balloon dog bookends were bought by park life from a toronto distributor imm living. the company’s goods are sold in more than 700 stores in the US.

here is the ‘original’: jeff koons : can one copyright a balloon animal? jeff koons’ balloon dog sculpture on the roof of the metropolitan museum of art, new york, april 2008. the new york times critic was enraptured by the ‘intellectually and sensuously exciting’ sculpture, calling the balloon dog ‘a sly trojan horse: it seems innocent but is loaded with aesthetic and erotic perversity‘.

what’s your opinion? do you think the bookend falls into the category of an original interpretation of a public domain idea/object?

via baycitizen and unbeige

  • Ridiculous affair despite a resemblance….to any balloon dog!!
    Perhaps the bookend should carry a masculine appendix….to be unequivocally different?

    Jan 19, 2011
  • clearly Koons is just doing this to get more attention

    Jan 17, 2011
  • It’s a shame that legal processes allow Jeff Koons to promote his P.R by limiting other creator in making fair business, based on creativity and humor.
    Balloon sculptures are very well known for more than 30 years and are regularly used by magicians and clowns all over the world. Koons can’t obtain copyrights on the dog’s shape which is a public domain.
    On top of that, huge “balloon sculptures” were used by DORON GAZIT-an Israeli industrial designer already at the 80’s. Doron has built 6 meters high inflated baloon sculptures of animals (including the dog) on the top of the ISRAEL MUSEUM, at the fifth Av. in New-York and few others well known locations.

    Koons’ dog is a great idea and beautifully executed, but this isn’t a reason to capitalize on other’s creations. The Balloon-Sculpture- shaped -book- holders are also a very pleasant idea which deserves success in the market.

    The world is wide enough. Let us enjoy both Koons’ sculpture and the book holders.

    yoram bar-sela
    Jan 17, 2011
  • *yawn*

    he won’t be able to register the copyright and he’s actually a complete asshole for trying. but really who cares, he’s a fart in the wind, I hope he has his ass handed to him in court costs.

    Jan 14, 2011
  • this would be relevant if jeff koons was an actual artist…

    Jan 13, 2011
  • Way to invalidate your own art, you opportunistic fraud.

    Jan 13, 2011
  • to bad you cant pop it.

    Jan 13, 2011
  • I made [url=] a blog tribute[/url] to this subject. WARNING, CONTAINS EXPLICIT CONTENT. But it was inspired by one of the comments here.

    Jan 13, 2011
  • [url=–TGQGNFc]puppy dog[/url]

    Jan 12, 2011
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