Sunday, February 1, 2015

Graffiti Artist Sues Developer Alleging Copyright Infringement

Craig Anthony Miller — who also goes by the tagger name “CAM” — sued the Toll Brothers last Wednesday for using images of his artwork to help sell nearby luxury condos. We think keyboards these days should just have a “copyright infringement lawsuit” key.


Nestlé Claims Trademark Infringement Against Artist

On the subject of yours truly being quoted, I’ve been meaning to post on this ArtFCity article regarding yet another intellectual property dispute between a mega-corporation and a visual artist.


Will the Sotheby’s Caravaggio Decision Impact the Practice of Authentication?

I’m quoted at length in this article concerning a new authentication case and its possible consequences.


Call for Applications: Curating Controversy: A Seminar for Art Curators

Tilted Arc

Tilted Arc, by Richard Serra. Originally installed at the Jacob Javits Federal Building, New York City, (1981-1989).

Given that it is curators who frame the context of an exhibition, during a controversy they are usually the ones to also negotiate with the hosting institution and the general public, handle the fallout of controversies, while also making decisions about keeping or removing specific works. The goal of this seminar series is to inform and equip curators with strategic and legal means with which to safeguard their curatorial vision and to negotiate effectively with diverse and interested parties.

This one-day series of four seminars will take place at NYU on March 28th, and offers curators the opportunity to discuss, among colleagues and with experts, the challenges of organizing and presenting exhibitions containing controversial work. The seminar sessions will be followed by an evening panel discussion that will be open to the public.

This seminar series consists of four seminars led by Johanna Burton, director and curator of education and public programs at the New Museum, Laura Raicovich, Director of the Queens Museum of Art, Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento, artist and art lawyer, and Robert Storr, artist and curator, Dean of the Yale School of Art.

Please feel free to distribute and disseminate this call for applications. Although the four day-time seminars are open to curators only, please note that the night-time panel discussion is open to the public. Applications are due February 27, 2015.

The workshop is organized by the Arts Advocacy Project at the National Coalition Against Censorship, the Visual Arts Administration M.A. Program, Department of Art and Art Professions at NYU Steinhardt and the Art & Law Program.


Famous Courbet Painting Sparks Facebook Legal Battle


Social media giant Facebook has been taken to court by a French user whose account was closed down after he posted an image of Courbet’s racy painting L’Origine du Monde (1866).

The plaintiff, a Parisian schoolteacher described by his lawyer Stéphane Cottineau as “a decent man, cultivated, and attached to the transmission of knowledge,” is seeking the reactivation of his Facebook account as well as €20,000 in damages.

Via Artnet News.


Court Finds Luc Tuymans Infringed Photographer’s Intellectual Property


A few stories floating around the internet report that a Belgian court has found Luc Tuymans liable for “plagiarizing” photographer Katrijn Van Giel’s photograph. We believe this to mean that Tuymans was found liable of infringing Van Giel’s intellectual property rights, most likely copyright. Keep in mind that plagiarism, at least under US law, is not recognized as an actionable legal claim. Rather, plagiarism is an ethical “violation” and not a legal wrong; that would be copyright infringement. And, we can have copyright infringement that is not plagiarism, and plagiarism that is not copyright infringement.

For now, Tuymans did admit to using Van Giel’s photograph of a politician in order to create a painting of that same politician. His defense? Parody. Why not? After all that seems to be the most popular defense raised by appropriationists against intellectual property infringement claims.

If this was in a New York court, and under the current Second Circuit ruling of Cariou v. Prince, we highly doubt that Tuymans’ appropriation would constitute fair use. But this case is being tried in Belgium, so who knows. Anyhow, it seems like the tide is slowly turning toward the owners-artists of the underlying work. Let’s hope so.

Tuymans plans to appeal.

More here via Hyperallergic and Artnet News.


Spain Arrests Alleged Art Forgers

Three suspected members of an art forgery ring were arrested in the Spanish cities of Zaragoza and Tarragona, El Pais reported. Accused of peddling drawings falsely attributed to Miró, Picasso, and Matisse, they’ve been charged with crimes against intellectual property and fraud.

Via Hyperallergic.


Clancco, Clancco: The Source for Art & Law,, and Art & Law are trademarks owned by Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento. The views expressed on this site are those of Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento and of the artists and writers who submit to They are not the views of any other organization, legal or otherwise. All content contained on or made available through is not intended to and does not constitute legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is formed, nor is anything submitted to treated as confidential.

Website Terms of Use, Privacy, and Applicable Law.

Switch to our mobile site