Friday, June 12, 2015

Out for a duck

Never a blog to avoid the deeper issues in the construction of giant sculptures, here’s an update on a duplicate duck deception that's ruffling feathers in Philadephia. The Philly duck is a copycat of the more famous giant duck made by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman. He has duplicated this idea more than twenty times around the world by sending plans to have his duck created and inflated. Hofman is extremely put out by the ‘fake’ Philly duck, particularly as the folk in Philadelphia are claiming that it has nothing to do with his one. 'I was shocked', Hofman told reporters. ‘They don't have permission to show my duck.’ This isn’t the first time Hofman’s giant duck idea has been cloned: giant ducks have proved very popular in China. But for Hofman to ‘own’ the big duck concept isn’t so straightforward either. As one American IP lawyer put it, ‘A rubber duck is an extremely common thing, and making a very large one does not necessarily give someone copyright rights in that artistic expression.’ Even more here.

Images: top, one of Hofman’s ducks. Middle, a Chinese version and bottom, the Philly duck