Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Lebbeus Woods versus Universal Studios 12 Monkeys

1n 1987 Lebbeus Woods drew a chair in a specific environment.
In Dec 1995 Universal Studios released the film 12 Monkeys with a similar looking chair in a similar environment.
In the court case between Lebbeus and Universal Studios the decision was for Lebbeus Woods implying that Universal had stolen his image.
I felt that it was all pretty nebulous - although the chairs and environments were similar - I didn't see any handcuffs on the Lebbeus chair (as there were in the film) and it was a only a couple of scenes in the whole film and the chair looked to be used in quite a different context in the film to the way it appeared in the sketch.
I don't know whether Lebbeus wood was paid for his original sketch buy anyone but in some way he had (presumably) already made his sketch available to the public and while I would never deny an artist their rights in my opinion I think that he was probably lucky to get a favorable court decision.
Marian Brandish

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