Legal Blog

Friday Factoid: Katy Perry Claims Copyright in Design for “Left Shark” Costume

Days after this year’s Super Bowl, Fernando Sosa, a Florida-based product designer began selling online a pattern to print a 3D model of “Left Shark” (a costumed character who danced behind Katy Perry during the Super Bowl Halftime show). Katy Perry’s attorneys sent a cease and desist letter to Sosa, claiming that Ms. Perry owns a copyright in the design of the Left Shark costume. Although Mr. Sosa complied with the take down notice, he could have challenged Ms. Perry’s copyright claim by asking whether she or her agents created the costume. In addition, if the Left Shark costume serves as a “useful article” (recognized mainly for its utilitarian purposes) instead of as an artistic work, it is not eligible for copyright registration. Sources: Jon Wachs websiteIf you have any questions regarding the content of this communication, please contact Jonathan R. Wachs: | 301.575.0302. If you would like to subscribe to receive Friday Factoids® in your inbox click here.