Jennifer Bjorhus of the Star Tribune continues her close coverage of the Polaroid bankruptcy saga. For prior Polaroid posts, see here and here. In her latest report, here, the Court appointed receiver in the Polaroid bankruptcy, Doug Kelley, is quoted as saying “It will take an intellectual property genius to tell us whether the rights go along [with a sale].”
Bjorhus reports that ‘Polaroid failed to obtain copyrights to the work it meticulously collected over the years by lending photographers film and equipment in exchange for a few sample works in return.” Presumably what she means is that there are no copyright “registrations” covering the works in question, since copyright exists automatically upon the creation of “an original work of authorhip,” once the work is “fixed in a tangible medium of expression.”
Apparently the $10,000 fee that was paid to Sotheby’s to assess the value of the art did not consider the question of whether Polaroid owns the underlying unregistered copyrights in any of the original artwork.
Although it may be beneath the perspective of the requested “genius,” the resource below the jump might be a place to start.