Germany bans Beyonce video over underwear copyright claim (video)
10:55 AM PST 12/21/2010 by Eriq Gardner
We're not sure what's more scintillating — that a German court has banned Beyonce's video for "Video Phone" because she is wearing copyrighted underwear or that in defending the video, Sony tried to invoke Pablo Picasso.
A Munich District Court has ruled that the black-and-white cubist-pattern print undergarment (right) violates the intellectual property of underwear manufacturer Triumph. As a result, Judge Peter Guntz said the highly original bra deserves — pardon our translation — "a very broad scope of protection" and has ordered the video be stripped off television.
Triumph claimed copyright after holding a design contest. A Bulgarian lingerie designer named Iskren Lozanov was one of the 28 finalists in this competition, meaning the designer got the "American Idol" treatment and had to fork over rights to his creation, which he admits was inspired by Picasso.
In, um, briefs to the court, Sony also played the Picasso card, but those arguments were rejected.
Triumph tried to settle the dispute by having Beyonce as a lingerie judge at the next competition, but the company says the peace offering of underwear jurisprudence was rejected and ignored -- a sign, says Triumph lawyer Martin Diesbach, of Beyonc's "arrogance."
No word yet on whether Sony intends to appeal the judgment or whether Germans can still watch the below video on their video phones.
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