IP & Litigation

Bella Ciao, Bella Ciao, Bella Ciao Ciao Ciao?

/ / Bella Ciao, Bella Ciao, Bella Ciao Ciao Ciao?

As we bid farewell to Netflix’s Spanish smash hit show, La Casa del Papel or Money Heist, let’s talk about its trademarks. Although Netflix has been able to trademark the name of the show both in English and Spanish, they have not been able to protect the main identity of the show – the Dali mask.  The show was in trouble with an infringement complaint a couple of years ago because of this. The Foundation, Gala-Salvador Dali Foundation, was established by Dali himself for the purpose of safeguarding and promoting his works of art.

The Foundation has contended that the mask worn by the characters in the show during the heist has been reproduced without consent. The famous mask has Dali’s prominent facial features and his iconic moustache and is used in the show as a primary part of their costume in heists. The Dali Foundation claims the usage of the mask has been without consent and violates the copyright protection of Dali’s image. The show’s producers retorted that the usage of the mask required no consent as it is a “caricature”. As under the Intellectual Property Laws in the European Union, the Member States may choose to limit the rights and protections in instances of caricature, a parody or pastiche. This allows limited artistic freedom and prevents infringing on the rights of another’s work.

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