Original London bus

A claimant’s copyright had been infringed, the Patents County Court said, in the case of a photograph with a monochrome background of a red London bus travelling across Westminster Bridge. It was decided that the work was original as it was the result of the photographer’s own intellectual creation including his choice of the angle of shot and his manipulation of the image to satisfy his own visual aesthetic sense. Common elements between both the defendant and claimant’s works were causally related and it was a difficult issue. But the judge concluded the defendants’ work did reproduce a substantial part of the claimant’s and his decision was based on the type of image which he described as a “photographic work”, rather than a mere photograph. Another factor was the defendants’ collection of other similar photographs which showed how different manipulations of the same idea can look.

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