Rentmeester allowed Nike to use the image for a temporary advertising campaign, but In 2014, Rentmeester accused Nike of copyright infringement. His lawsuit alleged that the sports giant copied his carefully choreographed picture using Jordan's left hand to slam dunk the ball. The “jumpman” silhouette logo is known the world over, and is used to promote Nike’s Air Jordan brand of basketball shoes and sportswear. According to Reuters, The Jordan brand now generates $3.1 billion of annual revenue for Oregon, USA headquartered Nike.
Rentmeester’s case was dismissed in June 2015 (this was covered by the CopyKat here), with the judge finding that the only similarity between Rentmeester’s photograph and Nike’s “Jumpman” logo was that of Jordan’s pose. The poses were not substantially similar and the District Court of Oregon dismissed Rentmeester’s claims. You can read a very good analysis of this decision over at the IPKat here.
Responding to a journalist’s story on the case, Playboy provided a statement which continued the assertion that Boing Boing "is supporting and contributing to privacy and content creators should not tolerate it.” And although they are not filing an amended complaint at this time, Playboy “will continue to vigorously enforce our intellectual property rights against infringement.” Image by Robobobobo and used under a Creative Commons Licence.
This “idea” of crossing dolphins was first expressed in nature, and was therefore held by the court to be “within the common heritage of humankind.” Accordingly, no artist may use copyright law to prevent others from depicting this ecological idea. Is this a case of “scene a faire” gone too far? Does it demonstrate that any “natural” pose by anyone (or any animal) is incapable of copyright protection? For the benefit of further analysis, this CopyKat would have preferred the matter go to trial, rather than conclude by way of summary judgment.
Despite the noble cause of making literature available at no or low cost to the masses, a recent ruling (https://cand.pglaf.org/germany/gutenberg-lawsuit-judgement-EN.pdf ) against Project Gutenberg has resulted in the website being geo-blocked for all visitors attempting to access the site from Germany. The claimants in the case are the copyright owners of 18 German language books, written by three authors, each of whom died in the 1950s. In Germany, the term of copyright protection for literary works is "life plus 70 years," which differs from the US approach for works published before 1978 where the works would be in the public domain. They are not in Germany.