copyright law

3D Scanning and the Cardinals Paintings Case

The point of a 3D scan of an object (like a shoe or a banana) is to slavishly recreate that object in a new medium. What if there is a conflict over whether one scan of an object infringes another scan of that same object? There are very few decisions about 3D scanning, so we need to look at decisions in other media for guidance. Franklin Mint Corp. v. Nat’l Wildlife Art Exch., 575 F.2d 62 (3d Cir. 1978) addresses whether one naturalistic painting of a pair of cardinals in nature infringes another, and gives us insight into 3D scanning and copyright law.