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Velvet Underground Loses Andy Warhol Copyright Claim: Fair or Foul?

Fergie 2012/09/11 19:00:00
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When you see Andy Warhol's iconic image of a banana, do you associate it with the band The Velvet Underground? The image was used as the cover the the Velvet Underground & Nico's self-titled 1967 debut, and the band's founders (Lou Reed and John Cale) recently sued the Andy Warhol foundation for licensing the image for iPad and iPhone accessories.

They claim that the Warhol foundation doesn't have a copyright claim for the image, but a federal judge recently dismissed their claim stating "there is no underlying cause of action sounding in copyright for Velvet Underground to head off."

Reed and Cale will move forward with a trademark case despite the setback insisting that the banana "has become so identified with The Velvet Underground ... that members of the public, particularly those who listen to rock music, immediately recognize the banana design as the symbol of The Velvet Underground." What do you think? Do you agree with the band or do you think the court decision was just?

LATIMES.COM reports:
When you think of a certain classic rock album released in 1967 with a bright yellow illustration of a banana on the cover, what name comes to mind: Andy Warhol or the Velvet Underground?
bright yellow illustration banana cover mind andy warhol velvet underground

Read More: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/culture/...

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  • Mike Smith 2012/11/03 15:08:01
    Foul
    Mike Smith
    That was a good album.
    But seriously, this should have been addressed long before now if it was such a concern. Sounds like someones bank account was getting a little low so they got sue happy. Pathetic. I too am a musician who, at one time, got run through the ringer and lost royalties. One of our bands songs was on television as its theme. We got $0... Who knows what the record label got. Being starving artists it wasn't like we could afford to sue. We would have more than likely lost money going that route :-/
  • democoach 2012/09/16 05:19:23
    Foul
    democoach
    its a banana for crying out loud. a fruit! if i chose to put trees as a cover album, how could that be copyright? what if another band i never knew about had one before me? is it right they sue me? come one, this copywrite thing has gone way to far
  • rr lyrae 2012/09/15 17:15:33
    Fair
    rr lyrae
    what a teapot tempest with some interesting implications.
    That banana is more Andy than Velvet -I wot that is true- but also true the classic first Velvet Underground album may someday be the "Paradise Lost" of its time, with literary and artistic eminence unseen just now. However Lou is disingenuous about the iconic image, which surely was meant to "explode" on the psyche of the 60's mind-is-the-media persons then familiar with NYC's underground art-deco-music scene with its plastic images inevitably redounding to Andy's mind and methods-with which this album was intended to associate...can it be helped in this war of fame whose brand has best taste?
  • Jessi 2012/09/15 01:25:19
    Fair
    Jessi
    How can the music industry scream foul play when someone downloads free music but then steal someone's art work? Flipping fail.
  • JakeisHere 2012/09/14 22:38:42
    Foul
    JakeisHere
    +1
    Warhol is rolling in his grave.
  • Marianne ☮ 2012/09/13 20:41:35
    Foul
    Marianne ☮
    +1
    Who hasn't heard of the Velvet Underground??? or Nico??
    This is their most recognized album. Warhol made it for them to use. Ugh.
  • Brad 2012/09/13 07:34:09
    Foul
    Brad
    +2
    For those who don't know who the Velvet Underground are, I truly feel sorry.
    I'm only 18, but at least I have a sense of culture.
  • clasact 2012/09/12 20:10:51
    Fair
    clasact
    I have seen the pic before as a Warhol but never heard of the band
  • Kiersten 2012/09/12 06:18:30
    Fair
    Kiersten
    lolwut
  • DemonChild 2012/09/12 03:10:33
    Fair
    DemonChild
    It's Andy Warhol!
  • MeiLin 2012/09/12 03:06:54
    Foul
    MeiLin
    +2
    Legal weasels win again
    ferret ferret
  • Trish 2012/09/12 00:57:40
    Fair
    Trish
    But the banana reminds me of Gwen Stafani
    Gwen stefani banana
  • safari 2012/09/12 00:32:22 (edited)
    Fair
    safari
    It depends upon the assignment of rights that Warhol gave Velvet Underground. Apparently it must not have been inclusive of their owning all rights to the image vs it belonging to Warhol with him assigning rights to VU to use it on their album.

    When I see the banana - I think of both.


    I had the original album where the banana peeled off and there was an image of the raw banana underneath. But that was many moons ago! Wish I still had that one.
  • Shadow_Wolf 2012/09/12 00:29:28
    Fair
    Shadow_Wolf
    Don't think you can copyright a regular banana, but in American I guess it would work.
  • Fergie 2012/09/12 00:00:47
    Foul
    Fergie
    +1
    Andy Warhol made it for them to be their symbol
  • thє вluє wαndєrєr 2012/09/11 23:22:53 (edited)
  • Resp 2012/09/11 22:00:48
    Fair
    Resp
    Andy Warhol is the owner of the design since he is the one who created it.
  • The Bantam Seditioner 2012/09/11 22:00:42 (edited)
    Fair
    The Bantam Seditioner
    +1
    It's such a legendary image, everybody who sees it knows who created it and for what purpose. There's no need to have intellectual property police enforcing these things...especially because Warhol is long-dead.

    "Velvet Underground & Nico" is one of my favorite albums from the 1960's, by the way. Highly, HIGHLY recommended listening.
  • JakeisHere The Ban... 2012/09/14 22:39:44 (edited)
    JakeisHere
    +1
    Fantastic album, Loaded is also really good.
  • rr lyrae The Ban... 2012/09/15 17:21:29
    rr lyrae
    +1
    Ban,
    its fame is not mutually exclusive...it burnishes both and all. To remember those times and that band is nothing but JOY...
  • alex 2012/09/11 20:40:17
    Fair
    alex
    had no idea. all i know is my friend has a coin purse of that banana and its awesome.
  • miserykills 2012/09/11 20:13:21

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