Saturday, March 25, 2023

Has Sculpture Been Gutted of Copyright Protection?

Korean War Stamp.jpg

On Wednesday, July 15th, The Center for Internet Society filed an amicus on behalf of the Andy Warhol Foundation, and several other amici, including the Warhol Museum; artists Barbara Kruger, Thomas Lawson, Jonathan Monk, and Allen Ruppersberg; and a few law professors.

The amicus concerns Frank Gaylord’s copyright infringement lawsuit against the United States. Gaylord filed suit with The U.S. Court of Federal Claims (the court of Federal Claims hears cases where there are monetary claims against the U.S. Government) alleging that the U.S. Post Office infringed his copyright to The Column, his Korean War Veteran’s Memorial sculpture, by not obtaining his consent to have it photographically reprinted on a postal stamp (the stamp was issued in July of 2007). The Post Office obtained the photograph from John Alli, a retired U.S. Marine Corp pilot and amateur photographer.

Applying the four fair use factors to the copyright issue in question, the Court held that the Postal Service’s use of the photo of The Column was a fair use of the copyrighted sculpture.

Gaylord is now appealing the Court’s decision. You can read CIS’s amicus here.


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