Monday, August 07, 2006

Seattle Times on "Chihuly Inc." (UPDATED)

In an earlier post on the Dale Chihuly copyright infringement lawsuit, I quoted the following wise comment from law professor Ann Althouse: "You have to think through everything before suing. You may feel aggrieved, but you have to picture what the opponent will throw back at you. Someone who never would have sued you will now come up with defenses and counterclaims, and there will be articles like this one on the front page of the NYT" (my emphasis). How about a whole special section in the Seattle Times going after virtually every aspect of Chihuly's business ? Parts 1 ("Inside the glass empire: How Dale Chihuly created a multimillion-dollar market for glass as fine art, built a mass-production company to sustain it — and set out to neutralize his competition") and 2 ("Chihuly benefits from his own philanthropy: He founded a charity to bring free art classes to senior citizens, but it also puts money into his pocket and brings a new flow of customers") are already up; part 3 ("Chihuly turns up heat on his competitors: He's been guarding his artistic style for years, warning others not to copy his shapes and techniques, but some say he’s gone too far with a copyright lawsuit") is apparently still to come. There's even a below-the-belt comparison to "Painter of Light" and shopping-mall art franchiser Thomas Kinkade.

Part 1 also confirms the news from over the weekend that Chihuly was negotiating a possible settlement with one of the two defendants, "but a premature announcement of the deal by Chihuly put the talks in jeopardy" and that the other defendant "says he has no plans to settle."

UPDATE: Part 3 is now up.