University of Pittsburgh

Pitt Law Professor Madison Talks Velvet Underground, Warhol, and Banana Screen Prints with the Post-Gazette

Publish Date/Time: 
January 17, 2012

Michael Madison, Pitt Law Professor and expert in intellectual property Law, weighs in on a copyright infringement lawsuit that legendary rock band Velvet Underground recently brought against the Andy Warhol Foundation.  The Velvet Underground filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan against The Andy Warhol Foundation, claiming it illegally licensed the famous banana image from the band's 1967 debut album for use on iPhone and iPad cases. 


Says Madison, "Suppose VU is right and the image really is in the public domain for copyright purposes. If that's true, then anybody can sell copies of it. That's what 'public domain' means."


As far as VU having a trademark for the image, he said, the band would have an easier time preventing another band from using the banana than convincing a judge that an iPad cover manufacturer could not use it.


Read the full story here.  

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