Can Makeup Have A Copyright?

Author:Ms María Sol Porro
Profession:Moeller IP Advisors

Since the law 11,723 was enacted in 1933 different human expressions were included in its art, meaning humans expressions were included in this law to be protected. So what happened with makeup?

The law defines that some makeup is considered protectable work, while other makeup is an expression, excluded for various reasons: a transitory nature, lack of originality, lack of independence from another work, etc.

Makeup is a very good example of one of these conflicting expressions. While for many the line of the eye may be the great nightmare of makeup, some makeup artists create works of art worthy of a museum.

Recently, the Argentine Courts regarding a conflict between a makeup artist, the plaintiff and the director of a magazine, the defendant discussed this issue. The plaintiff filed the lawsuit against the defendant because she was hired to do makeup for models in a production for the magazine N. Afterwards, she was invited to a parade organized by the defendant and saw catalogs, which included photos wherein it was indicated that the makeup was done made by a third person, not the plaintiff.

The claim was initially rejected with the argument that since the make-up captured in the photographs was not a work but only an idea, it did not deserve protection because ideas do not enjoy legal protection. However, the Civil Appeals Chamber revoked the judgment of first instance in favor of the plaintiff stating that the defendant had caused damage to the plaintiff when...

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