Josh Gerben Discusses A Potential Phillie Phanatic Copyright Violation With The Athletic

The year-long lawsuit between the Philadelphia Phillies and Harrison and Erickson continues as the parties seek ownership rights of the Phillie Phanatic. The design firm for the mascot, Harrison and Erickson, has asked the court for permission to refile their counter-claim to include copyright violation, citing an obscure provision of the Copyright Act that reverts sold artwork back to the artist after 35 years has passed.

Josh Gerben provided insight on the possibly of the court allowing the firm to refile their counter-claim in a recent The Athletic article:

“Technically, the request seems reasonable from Harrison Erickson. The entire reason the Phillies filed this complaint last year is they wanted to get the case into court before the date that Harrison Erickson could make a claim for actual copyright infringement. Harrison Erickson is correct that they could not have plead copyright infringement until this June 15, 2020 date. I expect the court to allow it.”

Source: Kaplan, Daniel. “‘Common counterfeiters,’ ‘defamatory’: battle over Phillie Phanatic getting ugly”. 1 Oct 2020.

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