Thursday, September 21, 2023

Andy Warhol Foundation Strikes First, Arguing Fair Use

From the complaint.

From the complaint.

Yes, you read right. Usually appropriation artists are the ones getting sued first. But the law allows the soon-to-be-defendant the option to strike first.  That’s what the Andy Warhol Foundation has done. They’ve filed suit in the Southern District of New York against photographer Lynn Goldsmith arguing that Warhol’s use in 1984 of Goldsmith’s photograph is fair use and that Goldsmith knew about Warhol’s use since 1984, making her claim time-barred. Here’s the complaint via Eriq Garner of the Hollywood Reporter.

It’s an interesting read. Aside from the statue of limitations argument, the Warhol Foundation details what they argue are the visual “transformations” of Goldsmith’s photograph in Warhol’s work. As seen in the image above, these annotations are almost art works themselves.

This one will be interesting to watch, particularly if it sets a precedent–negative or positive–for this type of appropriation art.



Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


No comments so far.

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