Saturday, February 6, 2016

What’s Going on in the Knoedler Trial?

No one has a better–and daily–update on the art market trial of the decade than my friend Donn Zaretsky over at The Art Law Blog.


El Chapo Uses Trademarks to Protect Outlaw Brand


This just in from a confidential source. It appears that the wives (yes, plural) and daughter of Mexican drug lord, El Chapo Guzman, have applied for twenty-four Mexican trademarks.

Alejandrina Salazar Hernández and Emma Coronel Aispuro, wives of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, and Alejandrina Gisselle Guzman Salazar, daughter of El Chapo have submitted 24 applications for trademark registration to market products under the name of El Chapo. Requests that have been submitted to the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) are: El Chapo, El Chapo Guzmán, Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán, El Chapito Guzmán, El Chapito, Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loaera, Don Chapo Guzmán. The registration of trademarks is in the Global Brand Database of the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Some more on this story here.


Will Naruto Return to the Planet of Appeals?


Last September, PETA brought a copyright lawsuit on behalf of selfie-taking macaque, otherwise known as Naruto. Although the judge dismissed the suit in early January of this year, we were waiting for his written opinion, just released last Friday. Although the judge’s ruling remained firm, the judge did state that Naruto has leave to amend—meaning that if he wants, Naruto can try yet again to get damages from photographer David Slater and the self-publishing company Blurb, Inc.

The opinion is available here.


Using Copyright, the NFL Keeps Tight Lid on Football History


One key and interesting concept in copyright law is how a person could have (tangible) property rights over a cultural work, say a 1960s film of the first Super Bowl, and yet not have the right to sell or screen it.

This is exactly what’s happening to a very–or somewhat–lucky guy, Troy Haupt, who inherited a pair of two-inch Scotch tapes containing footage of the very first Super Bowl. The tapes had been estimated at $1million, which is what Haupt asked the NFL for in exchange for the tapes. The NFL told Haupt to take a hike, and furthermore, sent a letter to Haupt’s attorney threatening legal action should Haupt opt to sell his tapes to a third party. “Since you have already indicated that your client is exploring opportunities for exploitation of the N.F.L.’s Super Bowl I copyrighted footage with yet-unidentified third parties,” Dolores DiBella, a league counsel, wrote, “please be aware that any resulting copyright infringement will be considered intentional, subjecting your client and those parties to injunctive relief and special damages, among other remedies.”What to do? Public shaming has worked for some, but something tells me the NFL just doesn’t give a damn.


Symposium: On the Intersection of Art and Law in the Work of Félix González-Torres


In the last few years, there has been a growing scholarly interest in González-Torres’ art works and the ways in which they are informed by law and juridical structures. Through the intersection of conceptual art strategies and legal instruments, González-Torres’ art works complicate and expand our understanding of what constitutes the art object, the ownership, exhibition and dissemination of art, and the public’s relationship to art and art institutions.

This symposium brings together scholars with backgrounds in law, art history and cultural history, as well as collectors and contemporary artists, in order to analyze the work of Félix González-Torres and its impact on the emerging field of art and law. This symposium is organized by Cornell Law School and the Art & Law Program and sponsored by the de la Cruz Collection.

Thursday, February 11, 2016
de la Cruz Collection
23 NE 41st Street, Miami  33137

1:30 PM – 6:00 PM – Programming (limited seating)
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM – Reception and Keynote Panel: Love, Negation and Recollection (open to the public)

Please click on this program website link for a complete listing of the academic and artist speakers, session topics and your opportunity to request a formal invitation to the afternoon sessions which are limited seating.



Do You Have to Be Rich to Make It as an Artist?

How many of the 2015 art highlights were by “extremely wealthy cultural producers”? We do know that cash certainly makes a difference when it comes to obtaining legal advise.


Artist Using Yelp to Shame Alleged Infringer

Funny week. This past Monday my SVA students wanted to start our art & law discussions by continuing the debate over whether Kelly Mark’s neon art work, I Called Shotgun Infinity When I Was Twelve, could be protected by copyright, and regardless of whether it could or could not be protected, why it was unfair for a restaurant, Old School, to copy her work without accreditation or compensation. So we did and there were still a few frustrated sighs and moans.

Lo and behold I just read this. Apparently some of Mark’s friends and fans took to cyberspace and attacked the restaurant via its Yelp page. According to ArtFCity, the dueling parties are now negotiating. Ah, the power of the pen.

Kelly Mark. I Called Shotgun Infinity When I Was Twelve - 2006 Neon, transformers & acrylic.

Kelly Mark. I Called Shotgun Infinity When I Was Twelve – 2006
Neon, transformers & acrylic.











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