Tuesday, November 5, 2013
An interesting opinion from a Dutch court: Justice Melanie Loos has ruled that a Blues Brothers tribute band can continue "doing its thing" despite objections from Dan Ackroyd and the widow of John Belushi because under Dutch copyright right, an individual cannot obtain copyright for "a person working on the basis of his own distinctive style." Mr. Ackroyd and Mrs. Belushi also tried to argue infringement of publicity rights, called "portrait rights," in Dutch law, but the judge rejected this argument as well. The problem for the plaintiffs here is that they were attempting to protect the characters, rather than personal publicity rights. The plaintiffs were, however, able to succeed on their trademark claims. The tribute band has taken the name "Blues Brothers" out of the name of its show.