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Katy Perry’s ‘Left Shark’: A Case Study in 3D Printing and Copyright

CBC Radio recently had an interesting discussion concerning 3D printing, copyright law, and the Katy Perry ‘Left Shark’ meme. 

“’Left Shark’, a backup dancer for Katy Perry, ended up stealing the spotlight at this year’s Super Bowl half-time show with an endearing, out-of-rhythm performance.”  This meme has spread like wildfire across the Internet, and has therefore become a project for 3D printing makers and enthusiasts. 

“But…Katy Perry’s lawyers have sent notices to cease and desist, citing copyright claim.”  Among these enterprising makers was Fernando Sosa, who “sculpted a Left Shark model using a 3D printer, and shared the design with others online.”  Katy Perry’s lawyers frowned upon this, claiming that he was committing a copyright violation by creating the 3D printed left shark. 

CBC Radio explores this issue in an in depth conversation with Mark Owen, “a Partner specializing in IP and Information law with Taylor Wessing in the UK” and Robert MacDonald, who is a “Partner and Trade Mark Agent at Gowlings law firm.”

Check out the whole conversation here.

Photo and Quotes Courtesy of CBC Radio 

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