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Rubber duck artist Florentijn Hofman doesn’t understand intellectual property

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It was announced this week that Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman will bring a smaller version of the Hong Kong duck to China’s capital for Beijing Design Week in September. Accompanying the duck will be Hofman’s inflated ego and wilful misunderstanding of copyright and intellectual property.

In previous coverage of the Hong Kong duck we’ve largely overlooked Hofman’s ridiculous statements (he claimed Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour would “never be the same“) about the “meaning” behind his work: ‘artist says pretentious thing about art’ isn’t really news. What is worth discussing however is Hofman’s equally ridiculous statements about intellectual property and the monopoly he seems to think he has on depictions of rubber ducks.

The stated objective of Hofman’s visit to Beijing Design Week is to “drive an awareness programme raising the sensibility towards intellectual property rights around China”. This is an admirable goal for sure, but one that is entirely unsuited to Hofman’s work.

As Jeremy Goldkorn pointed out on Twitter, rubber ducks predate Florentijn Hofman by a long time. The first rubber ducks appeared in the late 19th century as rubber manufacturing became widespread. In fact, the iconic nature of the rubber duck in pop culture is what makes Hofman’s work so successful, something he previously acknowledged. Since bringing his work to China however, Hofman (and his representatives) have taken a different approach, seeking to claim that companies that riff on or recreate the Hong Kong duck are infringing upon the artist’s “intellectual property”, a narrative that has been seized upon and bolstered by the Chinese press in a series handwringing editorials.

From a moral standpoint, Hofman’s case is fairly strong. Recreations/copies of the Hong Kong duck that popped up in Chinese cities were crass opportunism at best, a way to piggyback on the huge amount of goodwill Hong Kong was receiving from the duck’s presence in Victoria Harbour. What the recreations do not do is infringe upon Hofman’s intellectual property rights. Making a larger version of an existing object does not give one copyright over other depictions of that object.

When discussing copyright and creativity, the words we use matter. Hofman is well within his rights to say that copying his idea (of taking an existing object and making a large, inflatable version of it) is kind of a dick move, but to make this a debate about intellectual property only further degrades an already vague, unhelpful term.

tl;dr “Pretentious Artist Doesn’t Understand Intricacies of Copyright Law”

Source: http://shanghaiist.com/2013/06/25/rubber_duck_artist_florentijn_hofman_doesnt_understand_intellectual_property.php

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Groundsman finds duck nesting in OVEN!

For Missy the Muscovy duck, this dry and warm shelter would have appeared like the perfect place to create a nest for her eggs.

But the bird was dangerously close to becoming a roast duck after unwittingly setting up home in a large furnace.

Groundsman Mario Kopitski, 46, was shocked to discover the duck and twelve eggs nesting in the replica 5ft Norman smelting oven moments before he was about to light it.

Lucky duck: A groundsman was shocked to discover this duck nesting in a furnace - moments before he was due to light it Lucky duck: A groundsman was shocked to discover this duck nesting in a furnace – moments before he was due to light it

He was on his daily round of lighting three smelting ovens in the in the nine acre grounds of Mountfitchet Castle in Stansted, Essex, when he discovered the white duck and its eggs.

The 25-year-old replica oven is used for cooking bread and reaches temperatures of up to 200C.

Mr Kopitski said despite a variety of animals residing at the farm, including 25 other Muscovy ducks, peacocks and deer, none had ever made their nest in such an unusual place.

‘I’m so relieved I checked the oven when I did – otherwise poor Misty would have been toast,’ he said.

‘It was a real shock to see her sat there and I’m so pleased her and the eggs are safe.’

Home sweet home: The duck has now been allowed to remain in the furnace until her eggs hatchHome sweet home: The duck has now been allowed to remain in the furnace until her eggs hatch

Alan Goldsmith, who has been curator of the 200AD castle for thirty years, said the duck was incredibly lucky to be alive.

‘It’s awful to think that in a few seconds poor Missy could have been roast duck,’ he said.

‘We’ve decided to leave her there in peace until the eggs hatch in 28 days time and then her ducklings will join her around the grounds.

‘I just can’t get over what a close call she had, it’s been a complete surprise to all of us here.’

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1274401/Crispy-roast-duck-boiled-eggs-Groundsman-finds-duck-nesting-OVEN.html#ixzz2Wldd1GXQ

Crying fowl: lawsuit over bag of chicken nuggets

Chicken Joe's in Cos Cob. Photo: Helen Neafsey, ST / Greenwich Time

An intellectual property lawsuit between a popular chicken nugget takeout chain based in Old Greenwich in Bridgeport, Connecticut and two ex-employee brothers who launched a similar business catering to UConn students in Storrs is heading toward a trial.

Call it the Greenwich “chicken wars” — the owners of Garden Catering, which has eight locations from Mamaroneck, N.Y., to Fairfield, are crying “fowl.” The owners claim that Wally’s Chicken Coop stole their coveted recipes, business model and other trade secrets, and they’ve slapped Michael Natale and Jeff Natale, the owners of Wally’s Chicken Coop, with a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in New Haven.

Wally’s serves chicken “bits” and side combos in a pint-sized insulated food bag in the same manner as Garden Catering, which the lawsuit said is more than a mere coincidence. Their menu also features a breakfast sandwich dubbed the “Topsy,” which Garden Catering says is a blatant knock-off of its best-seller, the “Hotsy.” A bacon, egg and cheese on a roll with chili and home fries, the sandwich is named after its late creator,Frank Bertino, who worked behind the counter at Garden Catering into his early 90s.

The flap has James Doyle, the lawyer for Wally’s, planning to file a motion next week seeking to dismiss the case.

“It’s that ridiculous,” Doyle said. “All the claims are frivolous.”

Federal court records show this is the third such case pitting Garden Catering as a plaintiff against either a one-time business partner, franchisee or former employee. The previous two ended in settlements.

Frank Carpenteri Jr., whose family owns Garden Catering, issued a statement Monday accusing the brothers of concealing their plans to open a similar business and poaching at least one of their employees.

“I was longtime friends with Michael and Jeff Natale and was happy to employ both of them for many years when they needed work,” Carpenteri said. “When they told me that they were leaving to open in Storrs, they referred to it as a `burger joint,’ with no mention of the true focus of the business. We also believe that they sought to create a false impression that they were affiliated with Garden Catering in a number of ways, including telling their customers that they were `just like Garden Catering.’ ”

The 31-page lawsuit, filed by Greenwich attorney James C. Riley of Whitman, Breed, Abbott & Morgan, alleges that Michael Natale formed a limited liability corporation while he was still a Garden Catering employee and even discussed his business plans with a major distributor of the chain.

Wally’s tried to associate itself with Garden Catering on its Facebook page and Twitter account, according to the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified punitive damages and reimbursement of court expenses.

“They traded off the goodwill and name recognition that my family and I have worked extremely hard to create over the last 20 years,” Carpenteri said in his statement.

Doyle said Wally’s, located in a storefront 104 miles from Greenwich, is not a competitor and that his clients did nothing wrong.

“There’s no secret recipe,” Doyle said. “They don’t use the trademarks.”

In 2005, Garden Catering sued rival Chicken Joe’s — operated by Joe Marini, a former business partner of the Carpenteris — over the use of the name “High School Special” for its chicken nuggets and fries in a bag combination. The case resulted in a settlement, with Chicken Joe’s retaining the name and Garden Catering going with “The Special” for its signature menu item. Marini declined to comment on the feud Monday.

In 2011, Garden Catering sued two of its Stamford franchises on High Ridge Road and East Main Street for trademark infringement. The case also wound up in a settlement, with the two locations changing their names to Reddi Rooster. A message seeking comment from the owner of the two former franchises was left Monday at the High Ridge Road location.

“In my view, the cases are really unrelated,” Doyle said. “They’re certainly really litigious.”

Bertino’s daughter, Jackie Fabricatore, of Stamford, is siding with Garden Catering in the dispute, however.

“I honestly agree with them 100 percent,” Fabricatore said. “Hotsy is Hotsy. Hotsy is king. They should take (the Topsy) off the menu because the idea comes from my father’s chili.”

In a bizarre twist, Bertino’s son, who is named Frank, is suing Garden Catering in state Superior Court in Stamford. He alleges that the popular eatery neglected the welfare of his 91-year-old father.

Fabricatore lamented the actions of her brother.

“Frank Carpenteri and his family, they’re wonderful people,” she said. “They treated my father just like family.”

Source: http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Crying-fowl-lawsuit-over-bag-of-chicken-nuggets-4573592.php#ixzz2VFrFwZCX

A bird in the hand

Two buddies out for a quail hunt in Texas got the surprise of their life when one lucky man managed to catch the small bird with his bare hand.

Pastor Matt Carter was enjoying some guy time with his friend, NFL quarterback Colt McCoy, when the astonishing episode occurred.

Video of the amazing feat has exploded on the web and has been viewed over 85,000 times on YouTube since it was uploaded to the site on Monday.Divine Instinct Divine instinct: Pastor Matt Carter was out for a quail hunt when the bird approached and he simply reached out his hand for the catchUnbelievableBeyond belief: Dressed in his hunting gear and with his double-barrel shotgun in one hand, the minister managed to catch the quail by simply reaching out his handVictory is mine:Victory is mine: The Austin pastor raised his hand in triumph, with a smile of satisfaction at his clever catch

Pastor Carter, who founded the Austin Stone Community Church, explained how the awesome incident happened by chance while he and McCoy, the quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, were taping a video as part of their curriculum for their men’s Bible Study, The Real Win: A Man’s Quest for Authentic Success.

The duo had a film crew capturing footage of them explaining their curriculum while in the great Texas outdoors, when Carter couldn’t help but seize the moment when the opportunity presented itself.

The minister was dressed in jeans, a tan hunting shirt, bright orange vest and a camo baseball hat as he strolled along an open field near Austin.

With his double-barrel shotgun upright and perched against his shoulder, the man wasn’t ready to aim and fire but when the quail approached, the quick thinking man simply reached out his hand and caught the bird in his grasp.Nice one:Nice one: The pastor’s hunting partner, NFL quarterback Colt McCoy laughed in astonishment at his friend’s amazing encounter with natureMale bonding: Male bonding: Carter was out with the NFL player to capture footage of the pair together for the men’s Bible Study they co-authored, The Real Win: A Man’s Quest for Authentic SuccessThe HuntedThe hunted: The quail looked calm as it rested in the minister’s hand. Its unknown if the bird fell prey to the hunters or if it was released into the wild

The video was uploaded to YouTube on Monday and took the web by storm.

But skeptics took to the video channel to voice their disbelief, posting comments to the clip’s homepage.

‘I think this is fake. A bird wouldn’t just fly near you and if they did they’d glide fast and high,’ one user wrote in a comment.

But the man of God insisted that the bird encounter was not staged.

‘It’s been funny reading people’s comments. They think its fake. It’s random but it really happened …I can’t believe I caught it either…happened really fast,’ he wrote on his Twitter account, to his more than 28,000 followers.

‘As a hunter…The older you get, the more anointing and favor the Lord shows you,’ he added.

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2324610/Amazing-moment-pastor-quail-hunt-NFL-quarterback-manages-catch-small-bird-bare-hand.html?ico=ushome%5Eeditors_choice_six_of_the_best

Duck invaders need new kit

The ducks head off towards the Strawberry
The ducks head off towards the Strawberry

Hearing about the new Newcastle United football kit, this web-footed fan waddled her ‘Tyne Army’ straight to the checkout.

Beating most paying fans, Mrs Duck and her 10 fluffy squad arrived at the club shop in the city centre minutes after Newcastle United’s latest strip went on sale.

She was topped only by Newcastle United supporter Andrew Dixon who was first in store to buy the two-tone blue shirt emblazoned with the logo of sponsors Wonga.com.

Folk were left amused as they watched the flock carefully cross a road, enter the store and browse around for a few minutes before leaving.

Staff from the shop called the RSPCA as a precaution to make sure the birds were unharmed.

However, this is not the first time a flock of ducks have paid a visit to the Newcastle United store.

A mother duck and her ducklings walk through the Newcastle United shop
A mother duck and her ducklings walk through the Newcastle United shop

It is understood a group of birds made a similar appearance at a previous kit launch and left after inspecting the new strips.

The feathered creatures have been turning heads all week in the city centre and members of the public have been reporting sightings on social networking site Twitter.

Last Friday, one woman said: “What on earth are ducks doing waddling round Newcastle centre?”

On Wednesday, one shopper added: “There are two ducks just casually walking round Newcastle. Suppose it is wet enough.”

And on Thursday, Diana Kaye Florist tweeted: “Yesterday ducks on Northumberland Street, Newcastle, plodding in the rain outside our store and today sunshine.”

Cluckingham Palace

Prince Charles’s made-to-order Highgrove hen house… yours for a poultry £3,750

  • Luxury chicken shed inspired by poultry kept on the Prince’s estate
  • Eco-friendly design expected to ‘sell well’ around Christmas

It is the perfect solution for those seeking a palatial residence… for their pampered poultry.

But to keep hens in such royal luxury, you must be prepared to shell out an eye-watering £3,750.

This hen house is being sold by Prince Charles’s Highgrove estate in Gloucestershire and is inspired by the birds he keeps there.

The made-to-order Highgrove Hen House is built using Forest Stewardship Council-certified timber, which means it was sourced from a responsibly managed forest, and decorated with eggshell blue water-based paint.

Palatial: The luxury hen house costs an eye-watering £3,750Palatial: The luxury hen house costs an eye-watering £3,750

The roof is natural cedar, the wheels are cast iron and other fixtures are in galvanised steel.

Each house sleeps four to eight chickens and features two nest boxes, adjustable perches and stable-style doors.

Made by Wildlife World, a Gloucestershire firm, the hen houses are being sold on the Highgrove website which describes the design as ‘unique and innovative’.

Proceeds – as with all items sold on the website – will go to charities supported  by Charles.

But a spokesman for the prince admitted yesterday that none has yet been sold.

‘We only launched the hen house in March and we have had a lot of inquiries but no firm orders yet,’ said the spokesman, adding that the houses ‘reflect the interests of Highgrove’.

‘We are confident the hen houses will sell well, and especially at the time of the Christmas market.’

Eggspert: Prince Charles in patron of The Poultry Club of Great BritainEggspert: Prince Charles in patron of The Poultry Club of Great Britain

Highgrove’s website says: ‘Our very first Hen House has been inspired by the poultry kept on the Highgrove Estate by HRH The Prince of Wales, who is Patron of The Poultry Club of Great Britain.’

Highgrove is selling a matching beehive which, it says, ‘allows bees to live in an environment which is sustainable and low-impact, more akin to their natural environment’.

The hive has a base trough filled with natural woodland material creating an enclosed natural ecosystem that allows beneficial insects to live in harmony with the bees.

Charles has spoken publicly about the plight of the bee and, as well as keeping his own bees, supports beekeepers’ associations through The Prince’s Countryside Fund.

Like the hen house, each beehive is bespoke, takes eight to 12 weeks to be produced and has a hefty price tag – each costs £1,250.

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2322780/Cluckingham-Palace-Charless-order-Highgrove-hen-house–poultry-3-750.html#ixzz2TBIS3vkC