In Cheerleading-Copyright Scuffle, US Supreme Court Cites Duchamp

Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands, Justice Breyer's Dissent.

Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands, Justice Breyer’s Dissent.

In a 6-2 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held last week that designs on cheerleading uniforms were protected by U.S. Copyright law.

You can read the opinion and Justice Breyer and Justice Kennedy’s dissent here. Art law nerds might find it interesting to scroll to the last page, where one will notice an image of Marcel Duchamp’s 1915 snow shovel as art object, better known as In Advance of the Broken Arm. Breyer cites Duchamp’s art work as an example of industrial design that, although could be thought of as an work-of-art, should not necessarily obtain copyright protection.

If only they had used Fountain instead of a snow shovel.