Rumag and the gray space - copyright infringement?

Dutch TV host Arjan Lubach mercilessly exposed the practices of RUMAG last season. Rumag markets T-shirts with famous quotes translated literally, in ALLCAPS separated by dots instead of spaces. This firm’s owner is quoted claiming that there can be no copyright infringement when translating quotes from others, as this would be gray space. Is this correct or is this really a bullshit story?

The EU Court has ruled years ago that headlines consisting of eleven words can be considered as copyrighted. The criterion is that it must be a creation of the mind (in short, that creative choices have been made and that it is not just a banal sentence).

The fact that it is translated from English to Dutch makes no difference, neither do the dots between the words. So there is nothing gray about this. Source image: Bron beeld:


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MENTOS has been selling chewing gum under the name MENTOS PURE FRESH for several years. In order to protect her rights MENTOS has registered the following trademarks: the logo MENTOS PURE FRESH, the logo MENTOS PURE FRESH 3 and a figurative depiction of the word PURE. Defendant sells chewing gum under the trademark DENTYNE PURE and has registered its logo as a trademark. Infringement or not?