Contentious Relationship Between Fashion and Copyright Heard by the Supreme Court

“So when Marcel Duchamp has a shovel on the wall and says it’s a work of art, he can have a copyright as long as he doesn’t try to sue people who make shovels?” Justice Bryer remarked on Monday when the Supreme Court heard arguments in the copyright matter Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands.

The case involves a classic cheerleader outfit, whose designers are fighting to protect through copyright law. The Plaintiff claims to be challenging the “two-dimensional artwork” on the surface of the garment, fitting it into the realm of visual art. Could this matter creating a monopoly over cheerleader uniforms?

A ruling is due in June.