Origami artist involved in copyright lawsuit

By Pankaj Ladhar of Manos • Alwine P.L.

An artist and film maker, known widely for her work in the world of origami, is at the center of a federal copyright lawsuit that claims she stole most of her ideas and concepts from fellow origami experts.

The female artist introduced her origami works in a 2007 series, which garnered national attention. It featured 37 pieces of work, which she claimed she found. She added her own spin on the origami by using canvas and painting the space in between the lines. She used this origami for commercial use, promoting it through interviews and other means.

Origami is the ancient art of folding paper. Experts can create elaborate and detailed designs. The art form has also exploded in recent years. Artists from around the world share their folding patterns and specifications via the Internet and other published works.

The six artists who are suing the woman are also accomplished in origami and have displayed their work in cities around the world, including Miami. They have even copyrighted many of their origami patterns, which create models of such things as an angel, falcon, grasshopper, parrot, mantis and many other creatures.

The group of artists claims that the female artist copied up to 24 pieces of their work for her own collection. One of the defendants had contributed to a book about origami design secrets. That defendant claims the New York artist swiped seven designs from that published work alone. Other members of this group say the female artist also spotted their origami in published works and copied the designs.

The suit cites 20 counts of copyright infringement. The group of artists seeks an unspecified amount of money in damages.

Source: Courthouse News Service “Origami Artists Won’t Fold for Filmmaker,” Dec. 7, 2011