The IPKat gives us an interesting story of a failed joint authorship theory for a children’s book. The German court held that the illustrations were not a joint work of authorship with the literary work and characters because there was a lack of sufficient interaction between the illustrations and the plot of the story. It’s hard to understand how that could be true without seeing the books, which are not to be confused with this similarly titled story more familiar to Americans. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that the character drawing preceded the story, designed as a logo for the youth football (soccer) team that the author coached.
Which leaves the interesting question of where it goes from here – surely the story author can’t create new stories with new drawings too similar to the original character or it would be a copyright infringement. And who gets the royalties for the promotional goods that feature only the character?
IPKat story here.
© 2009 Pamela Chestek