Banksy Loses Copyright To Famous Work Because He Won't Reveal His Identity In Court
The anonymous graffiti artist has spent two years in a protracted court battle against card company Full Colour Black over the copyright to 'Flower Thrower', a piece that he famously daubed on the walls of the West Bank in Jerusalem.
However, the court ruled that he couldn't claim the work as an EU trademark unless he actually owns up and reveals his real name.
They said that 'he cannot be identified as the unquestionable owner of such works as his identity is hidden' and therefore can't have an exclusive trademark for the work.
Interestingly enough, Banksy has previously said 'copyright was for losers' and made his artwork free-to-use and freely downloadable.
He even set up a shop in Croydon last year so that he could sell his art and 'fulfil his trademark obligations'.
Anyway, it seems as if he's pretty annoyed about the use of this particular work, especially now that he's lost the copyright for it.
The judges argued that his will to 'circumnavigate the law' instead of commercialising his goods was in bad faith.
The team of judges from the European Union Intellectual Property Office said: "Banksy has chosen to remain anonymous and for the most part to paint graffiti on other people's property without their permission rather than to paint it on canvases or his own property.
"He has also chosen to be very vocal regarding his disdain for intellectual property rights.
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"It must be pointed out that another factor worthy of consideration is that he cannot be identified as the unquestionable owner of such works as his identity is hidden; it further cannot be established without question that the artist holds any copyrights to graffiti."
Whilst Banksy hasn't ever revealed his identity, it has been the subject of much thought and conjecture over the years.
The latest - and completely unfounded - rumour is that he's secretly Art Attack star Neil Buchanan.
Seriously, Buchanan was even forced to deny that he's Banksy on his official website.
In a post entitled 'Neil Buchanan is NOT Banksy' the TV presenter and heavy metal musician - yes really - wrote: "We have been inundated with enquiries over the weekend regarding the current social media story.
"Unfortunately, this website does not have the infrastructure to answer all these enquiries, individually, however we can confirm that there is no truth in the rumour whatsoever.
"Neil spent lockdown with vulnerable members of his family and is now preparing to launch his new art collection in 2021.
"Thank you and please stay safe."
That's exactly what someone who secretly was Banksy would say, isn't it?
Featured Image Credit: PA
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