Saturday, March 25, 2023

Italy Up in Arms!


This is just too funny. A U.S. gun manufacturer’s use of Michelangelo’s David has Italy up in arms.

Italy’s cultural minister, Dario Franceschini, has gone on record to say that the use of David to sell bolt-action rifles is offensive and violated the law. Franceschini also added, “The image of David, armed, offends and infringes the law. We will take action against the American company so that it immediately withdraws its campaign.”

Good luck with that “legal” argument in the U.S. Aside from the fact that David is no longer under copyright (was it ever?), and the fact that there’s this little thing called The First Amendment, there’s also a practical matter to overcome – jurisdiction. Now I don’t know, but something tells me that ArmaLite, a 60-year-old Illinois-based small arms engineering company, has no presence or does business in Italy. Readers, please correct me if I’m wrong on any of the above.

Let’s see what happens.

Via the BBC.



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Comments: 2

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  • Raphaela

    as I am currently working on an article about the advertisement launched by ArmaLite, i was wondering if the Statue of David is really copyrighted by Italy. Your article says no – “Good luck with that “legal” argument in the U.S. Aside from the fact that David is no longer under copyright (was it ever?)”
    Can you give me any information about it ?

  • Raphaela,
    Thank you for your comment. My point was that I could not – and cannot – think of a U.S. law that would apply to what I understood Italy’s disturbance to be. In other words, there is no copyright or moral rights law, and in fact, in the U.S., what ArmaLite did would be highly protected under the First Amendment (speech, both art and political speech). In reality, there’s nothing “defamatory” or disturbing about what ArmalLite did. Does that make sense?

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