Monday, May 2, 2016

Lawrence Salander Sentenced to at Least 6 years in Prison

Upper East Side art gallery giant Lawrence Salander was finally sentenced today to serve at least six years behind bars for a massive, decade-long, $120 million fraud scheme. Salander, 60, was cuffed and carted off to prison in punishment for soaking a roster of 29 wealthy friends and investors, including John McEnroe, Robert De Niro, and some of the East Coast art world’s biggest investors and owners. “There is no excuse. There is no justification,” Manhattan Supreme Court Michael Obus said in rendering his sentence. “The conduct of the defendant has caused terrible damage,” he added, calling the scheme “deplorable,” and noting that its damage was not only financial, but emotional.

Via The New York Post.


Ansel Adams’ Kin Dispute Negatives

Here’s the latest on the alleged Anselm Adams treasure trove.


Photographer Sues ‘Fela!’ for Copyright Infringement

Trying to catch up. From last week.

A Brooklyn photographer is suing producers of “Fela!,” alleging that the Broadway musical used a photograph she took of Afrobeat legend Fela Anikulapo-Kuti’s famed Shrine without her permission. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Manhattan on Monday, seeks at least $150,000 in damages for copyright infringement.

Via the WSJ.


New Copyright Rules for Filmmakers and Students

The Library of Congress added five new exemptions to its Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) yesterday. The DMCA is a US copyright law that criminalizes attempts to bypass digital copyrights. Originally passed in 1998, the act is revisited every three years, with new exceptions added based on changing technology. PC World has a precise overview of the new exemptions, the top one for us being the use of copyrighted material on DVD:

“College professors and students, documentary filmmakers, and those making noncommercial videos, are now able to circumvent the copyright protection on DVDs in order to use short clips from those DVDs in new works “for the purpose of criticism or comment.” The exemption was previously in place for professors, but has now been expanded to include students and filmmakers. The exception does not allow for users to copy whole works, or for individuals to create backups of DVDs they personally own[.]“

Don’t get too crazy about this. Note the “noncommercial” language as well as the “criticism or comment” aspect of the use. Still, a huge break for documentary filmmakers, students, and professors! Who said copyright law was unfair? You can also view the Library of Congress’ Newsletter covering this topic here.


Brooklyn Artist Sues Studio for Royalties

Kelly Denato, of Brooklyn,  is suing a New York-based animated cartoon studio, alleging she’s been denied royalties she’s entitled to for designing a character that became the namesake of a Cartoon Network show, Ellen’s Acres. She says in the suit that she was due 25% of all revenues stemming from book sales, merchandising and animated motion pictures like television shows. The suit seeks damages in excess of $1 million.

Via the Wall Street Journal.


YouTube Bans Nudity; What About Art?

Of  notable interest. The LA Times’ Culture Monster did a quick search of YouTube to see which artists and works of art have succeeded in evading YouTube’s nudity standards policy. According to the Monster,

YouTube, which is owned by Google, officially forbids users from posting videos to its site that feature sexually explicit content. It also forbids “most” nudity — that is to say, “if a video is intended to be sexually provocative, it is less likely to be acceptable for YouTube,” according to the company’s rules. “There are exceptions for some educational, documentary and scientific content, but only if that is the sole purpose of the video and it is not gratuitously graphic.”

Check out Culture Monster’s other findings here, with hyperlinks to videos with nudity!


Strong Arguments for Artists’ Rights and Copyrights

If you’re interested in artists’ rights, this is right up your alley and in time for good summer reading.

The Journal of Biocommunication, a journal dedicated to serving as a showcase of proven and experimental procedures in medical art and illustration, print, photography, film, television, computer, multimedia systems, and other communication modalities applied in the health sciences, has a remarkably interesting and timely special issue that focuses on aspects of artists’ rights, including articles that discuss more recent issues surrounding existing copyright law, copyright registration, artists’ rights, and the current U.S. Orphan Works legislation.

This issue features five outstanding articles beginning with Terrence Brown’s “Historic Rights Issues in American Illustration.” Mr. Brown traces the development of American illustration during the post Civil War period, as book, newspaper, and magazine publishers successfully used artists’ sketches and illustrations to accompany their printed text and advertisements. These artists became more and more important to the publisher’s success, and the demand for their illustrations grew. Ownership of original art and issues relating to secondary usage rights culminated in the formation of the Society of Illustrators in New York in 1901. Many historical illustrations are included as examples of these amazing illustrators.

Read the rest of this entry »


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