Thursday, March 22, 2018

H&M files lawsuit arguing graffiti not protected by copyright law


According to The Fashion Law blog,

The retailer responded to Williams’ letter with a lawsuit, asking a federal court in Brooklyn on Friday to declare that it is not on the hook for copyright law or unfair competition because, for one thing … Williams’ work “was unauthorized and constitutes vandalism,” and is, thereby, not protected by copyright law.

This case will be very interesting to watch, if it doesn’t settle and goes all the way.

UPDATED (March 15, 2018): According to a statement from H&M, ”H&M respects the creativity and uniqueness of artists, no matter the medium. We should have acted differently in our approach to this matter. It was never our intention to set a precedent concerning public art or to influence the debate on the legality of street art.  As a result, we are withdrawing the complaint filed in court. We are currently reaching out directly to the artist in question to come up with a solution. We thank everyone for their comments and concerns, as always, all voices matter to us.”


Contracts may fix a lot, but…


With the increase in use of contracts in contemporary art–both as binding documents and as medium–this article on Hollywood’s “inclusion riders” piqued my interest. How are these agreements similar to Seth Siegelaub and Robert Projansky’s contract? Better yet, will use of these agreements help alleviate or actually impede correcting alleged inequities in the art industry? Hopefully the use of contracts in the art industry doesn’t turn out to be “this season’s hottest accessory.”



Russia officially recognizes contemporary art

Meant to impact import duties, but also access to contemporary art.

Russia, by law, now recognises [sic] contemporary art as art. Previously, valuable works of art created fewer than 50 years ago were officially treated as “luxury goods” and subject to 30% import dues. This changed on 29 January with the passing of a new law that is part of a radical revision of Russian art import-export regulations aimed at opening up the Russian art scene to the world.

More here.


“Mattel does not have the proper authorization to use the image of Frida Kahlo”

So alleges Mara Romeo, Kahlo’s grand-niece.


After 5Pointz, Can Artists and Developers Ever Work Together Again?

With the help of legal and art experts, Artnet’s Eileen Kinsella break’s down the most important lessons of the 5Points case. (Disclaimer: I’m quoted in this article).



Lecture: Culture in the Face of Publics

Photo courtesy of Francheska Alcantara.

Photo courtesy of Francheska Alcantara.

On Friday, March 16th, I’ll be presenting a lecture at Virginia Commonwealth University on recent (and not-so-recent) controversies and debates concerning contemporary art and “the public.”

Does the pubic have a right to culture? What public and what culture are we talking about, and how far does this right extend? How can the law be used to restrict, limit, or facilitate the public’s access to cultural works, and what other non-legal barriers to access exist? How can academic and other cultural institutions with missions to provide access to and promote engagement with art and cultural works navigate these questions?

The talk will take place at 2pm at the James Branch Cabell Library. More information on the event may be found here.



Photographer Exhibits Photos Richard Prince Copied

Norm Clasen, "Sunset Chase, Riverton, WY," 1985

Norm Clasen, “Sunset Chase, Riverton, WY,” 1985

Photographer Norm Clasen is now exhibiting the cowboy images he shot for Marlboro in the 1980s and that Richard Prince copied as artworks. The show, which opens today, Saturday, March 3, 2018, will be on display at the same time that the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is exhibiting Prince’s “Untitled (Cowboy).”

More here.


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