Monday, July 12, 2010

No Cheeseburgers in Paradise!

Did I mention that my wife is from Ukraine? I'm sure they have cheeseburgers there (actually.. do they?), and perhaps they may have a location that some would call paradise, but I really doubt they have cheeseburgers in paradise. Why is this important? Because Jimmy Buffet does have cheeseburgers in paradise.

For those of you who are like my wife and don't know, Jimmy Buffet is a popular musician, among other things, with one song in particular titled "Cheeseburger in Paradise". He also has a line of restaurants with the same name.

My wife regularly participates in a wonderful event called Virtual Paintout. Basically, a location is given and artists must go to Google Map's street-view, wander around and find something to paint. The painting is then submitted along with the street-view image. A really great idea I think. The last location was Hawaii and my wife found a little burger joint on the coast in Lahaia. Now, can there be any other name for such a painting than Cheeseburger in Paradise? She placed the painting for sale on her website and her Etsy shop but within a few days, received an email stating that she was in violation of copyright laws.

What does this mean? First off, it meant that once we found out, we very quickly changed the name of the of the painting. It also was a great introduction to the world of copyright laws, which we need to do much more research into. I'm not sure what the repercussions of such a violation would be should legal action have been taken, and I'd rather not find out, but we have learned a valuable lesson: Do some research before naming and publishing your artwork!


  1. Wow! Something so innocent turned into such a big deal! I'd probably do something like that too! LOL!

    Virtual painting sounds neat! Maybe I should do something like that! Itll push me to paint!

    Thats really cool that youre taking up a hobby that your wife really enjoys!! Genia must be really excited!

  2. That is a little bizzarre isn't it? I mean if you call a flower painting "Flowers" does that then violate the copyright of singers, poets and other artists who have named a piece "flowers"? I think I would have changed it too but I confess that I think it is stupid, the world has gone mad!

  3. I think this is a load of rubbish. If you say where you got the title from, then it's no longer a copyright breach. Also, if a title has a meaning, like 'cheeseburger in paradise', suggesting that Hawaii is paradise and therefore the painting has this meaning, ie it is a direct description of what the painting depicts or means rather than a copy of a title/name. Who the hell is going to take this further anyway?! It's not like your wife is some large corporation who is going to put another corporation out of business.

    Chrissy is quite right in what she says. It's a description of what is depicted. I have a painting called 'Sunflowers' for goodness sakes. Tell them them where to get off! Jeez, don't people have anything better to do with their time. If I was your wife, I would put the title right back.

  4. Elizabeth,

    It was a pleasure meeting with you over the weekend. My wife is quite pleased that I'm taking more of an interest. I've tried to be very supportive over the whole process and as such, I've learned quite a bit, which I hope to share here.

  5. Chrissy and Adwords,

    I agree wholeheartedly, it is a silly mess. Unfortunately, its also something that I'm not willing to tackle while I'm still so uneducated in the matter, though that will soon change. As to changing the name of the painting back, perhaps when I have studied the laws a bit, and verified what the true rules are, we will do that. Keep an eye out! :P

  6. You have some good advice and suggestions on your blog, I am enjoying reading it. I want to save your advice on booths for future reference.
    Thank you.