“People copy all the time, they call it homage, but sometimes the copy is just too blatant and it is quite annoying,” she wrote in an e mail. “I actually tried to sue once, but it is very complicated and in the end not worth it. Today social media is doing the job.”
Mr. Walker, who photographed the “Sour Prom” picture, didn’t reply to an interview request. A consultant for Ms. Rodrigo declined to remark for this text.
Amy Adler, a professor at the New York University School of Law who makes a speciality of artwork legislation, stated that any authorized motion towards Ms. Rodrigo for the picture could be an “uphill battle.”
“You can’t copyright an idea, but only the expression of that idea,” she stated.
Both pictures, Ms. Adler stated, subvert “the smiling perfection of the idealized beauty queen.” It’s a standard visible reference that predates the “Live Through This” cowl; the promenade scene from the 1976 horror movie “Carrie” might be the greatest recognized instance, and Ms. von Unwerth herself has cited its affect on her personal work.
Ms. Adler stated that despite the fact that the pictures for “Sour Prom” and “Live Through This” perform the identical thought, they’re nonetheless totally different sufficient that it possible wouldn’t be thought of copyright infringement. Ms. Rodrigo, she stated, may argue a fair-use case; making references to a copyrighted work or reproducing it may be authorized, “if you’re using it for new purposes.”
Copyright legislation attracts the line between defending inventive expression and not letting folks lock up concepts. “On the one hand, you don’t want to encourage people to steal other people’s expression,” Ms. Adler stated. “But in its goal of encouraging and protecting creativity, copyright law also wants to leave room for creators to draw on previous works because so much creativity depends on the freedom to build on and reference previous works.”
While Ms. Love has requested flowers from Ms. Rodrigo, Ms. von Unwerth stated she simply would appreciated to have been included. “I’d love to meet Olivia Rodrigo, I think she’s a wonderful young artist with a cool universe,” the photographer stated. “I could offer my vision to the team and make a truly original project!”