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The University of Southampton
Interdisciplinary Centre for Law, Internet and Culture (iCLIC)

Fishing for trouble? ‘Left shark’, 3D Printing and IP law Event

22 April 2015
Building 44/1057

For more information regarding this event, please email Dr Eleonora Rosati at .

Event details

An 'iCLIC' seminar

‘Left shark’ started life as a costumed background dancer in singer Katy Perry’s performance at this year’s American Super Bowl. The shark’s out of sync dance moves entranced social media users and became an instant meme; inspiring the creation of numerous parody twitter accounts and images. Digital sculptor Fernando Sosa drew inspiration from these memes and designed and began selling 3D printed replica sculptures of the shark online. Perry’s lawyers were quick to respond, demanding that the left shark sculptures be removed from sale, on the basis that they infringed her intellectual property rights. Sosa’s lawyers challenged the claim, suggesting that the costume was not protected under US copyright law and that Perry had bigger fish to fry than pursing the dubious claims. The dispute remains unresolved, and the sculpture currently remains on sale.

Was Sosa fishing for trouble in creating the left shark sculpture, and would his actions be caught by intellectual property law here in the UK? Is current IP law floundering in response to the disruptive impact of 3D printing, and should it be amended to be more responsive to the challenges this developing technology is posing? Using ‘left shark’ as a case study, this seminar sinks its teeth into vexed challenge of the interaction of IP laws (including copyright, trade mark, designs and patent) and 3D printing.

Speaker information

Adrian Storrier,University of Melbourne,Adrian Storrier is a PhD Candidate and Senior Fellow at the University of Melbourne and Visiting Research Student at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University of London. His research interests include copyright exceptions, overlapping intellectual property regimes, and open licensing. His dissertation project examines the relationship between copyright exceptions and inconsistent contractual provisions from a theoretical perspective. Adrian currently teaches Intellectual Property Law at the University of Melbourne.

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