Upload & Sell: On
| p.2 #4 · Photography at Art Fair - Legal/Moral question |
Peter Figen wrote:
It's not the City of Carmel. It's The Pebble Beach Corporation, and they've trademarked the tree. You can't copyright a tree, but apparently you can trademark it. They use it in their logos, advertising, etc. Back in the day, growing up in Monterey, we used to shoot at the Lone Cypress all the time. It's just another example of corporate bullshit mentality trying to control and monetize everything in their power. The Pebble Beach Corporation is another example of outsourcing, as Del Monte Properties - never the best steward of the land - sold out to a Japanese company, which owns it today.
If that is their argument, then I don't think the people telling you not to photograph the tree understand trademark law.
<<DISCLAIMER>> I'm not an attorney, but I've been dipped repeatedly in Intellectual Property law of various kinds over the years in my career.
Anyway, a trademark would only cover an original work of art created by someone, a word or phrase identifiably and originally used to refer to an entity, etc. I don't think it is possible for California to have their own trademark laws (I believe all of that is held at the Federal level), but I don't think it is physically possible to violate a trademark of a tree. The photo would have to be an exact reproduction, and used in a way to promote another commercial interest.
Copyright might be another thing (per the French whack-ass example) but that at least is a created thing. I think it is crazy to protect copyright to the extent of a photograph of a chair...