Saturday, March 25, 2023

Anthropologie of Copyright

Jackie Battenfield asks if it’s true that a work of art created in a nonprofit space receives no copyright protection. She points to the story on this blog. For the sake of saving digital ink, we will reinforce Donn Zaretsky’s argument that “There’s a technical legal term for that: crazy talk.” Donn continues:

Now, there may well have been good reasons for concluding that a lawsuit wasn’t worth pursuing here, but it’s simply not the case that this work was somehow ineligible for copyright protection because it was done “in a nonprofit context.”

Think about it. If this were true, then thousands of artists making art in nonprofit art spaces and museums would be making art that anyone (including corporations such as Anthropologie) could steal for their own (commercial) gain. What artist in their right mind would willingly abdicate any proprietary right to their artistic asset(s) for the privilege of exhibiting in a nonprofit space? Perhaps John Koegel can clarify this misunderstanding.

The full story, with images, can be viewed here.


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