Advertising Agencies, Copyright and Dead Pitchmen

Does copyright matter in the real world, or is it just about billion dollar disputes between media companies and Google? In my own practice I see that it does, trickling right down to employee/employer relations in knowledge based industries. This article here is a perfect, and highly entertaining, example, discussing the improper use of a dead celebrity’s image in an advertisement, a brouhaha that grew, apparently, out of a misunderstanding as to the scope of copyright clearance actually obtained by the ad agency. And not only do you see in this article how a problem of this type can arise, but you also see the costs of not recognizing and avoiding the problem in advance - in this instance, the loss of a large account by the ad agency.