Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Little Orphan Annie?


When it rains it pours. Photographer Paolo Pizzetti filed a $300,000 lawsuit alleging Annie Leibovitz infringed his copyrights by reproducing photos he took in Venice and Rome for a calendar commissioned by the Lavazza coffee company.

More from The Guardian.

On an unrelated matter, the Los Angeles Times has a nice summary of the other nightmare facing Leibovitz. Leibovitz faces a Tuesday deadline to repay a $24-million loan from a New York art-finance company, Art Capital Group, which advanced her that sum last year after Leibovitz posted as collateral basically everything she owns — not only her two homes but every photographic image ever taken by Leibovitz, past, present, and future.


Conference: International Developments in Libel, Privacy Newsgathering and New Media Law

We’ll be in London this coming Wednesday through Friday for a media law conference, International Developments in Libel, Privacy Newsgathering and New Media Law, organized by the Media Law Resource Center. We’ll provide a report after the conference.
Among the topics to be discussed are:

  • Liability for third-party content posted online in the UK and Europe
  • Libel Terrorism Protection Acts and enforcement of judgments
  • The right to be left alone in public – the continuing evolution of the Princess Caroline privacy decision
  • Reporting on terrorism: How has the fight against terrorism impacted reporting?
  • The Future of Free Expression: How is the Internet impacting the law of free expression?
  • Fair use and fair dealing in the digital media environment

Critical Art Ensemble Defense Fund Donated to Center for Constitutional Rights & New York Civil Liberties Union

After a widely watched four-year legal battle, the CAE Defense Fund was officially dissolved last week, with its remainder of unexpended funds donated in two substantial gifts to the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the New York affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU).

The CAE Defense Fund was originally created as a mechanism to raise funds for legal bills incurred by Dr. Steven Kurtz and Dr. Robert Ferrell in what its members argued was a politically motivated attack by the Department of Justice–one which threatened the constitutional and fundamental rights not only of the two defendants, but also of everyone, due to legal precedents that would have been set by an unfavorable outcome.

Read the rest of this entry »


Disney to Buy Marvel Comics

Walt Disney Co. announced today that it would buy Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion, giving Disney ownership of a huge stable of comic book characters, including Spiderman, the Incredible Hulk, the X-Men, the Silver Surfer and others.

According to the NY Times, the deal “instantly makes Disney a partner with Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment and 20th Century Fox, all of which have long-term deals to make or distribute movies based on Marvel characters. Coming are new entries in Sony’s ‘Spider-Man’ franchise and Fox’s ‘X-Men’ series.”


On Trial for Institutional Critique

Wishing to elicit a conversation regarding the state of mental healthcare in Sweden, Anna Odell, a 35-year-old student at Sweden’s prestigious Konstfack Art Academy, is now on trial facing public disorder charges for making a film.

In May, the day after the opening of her film, entitled in Swedish Unknown woman: 2009-349701, she was charged with fraudulent practice, raising a false alarm and resisting arrest. If she is convicted she will be forced to pay back the cost of the care she received, estimated at the equivalent of £1,000, and would face a two-year suspended sentence and additional fines.

Now this is what we call institutional critique. More from The Independent.


Thriftstore Dalí Works Fake?

Another “real or fake” question has come up, this time dealing with Salvador Dalí. Several works attributed to him (and thought to be valued at $76,000) are currently on display next to a disheveled tie rack at a Salvation Army Family Thrift Store in Houston, Texas.

The works were given to the Salvation Army by an anonymous donor, and the man behind a two-year-old appraisal document — which suggests that they are worth more than $76,000 — says that he cannot be sure that they are the same pieces he evaluated and sold.

Brushing the question of authenticity aside, enough people have been interested in the Dalí’s that bids for the art had reached $8,000 for each of the three lots by last Friday.

More from the NY Times here.


U.S. Special Forces Recover Stolen Picasso

Although there are doubts as to its authenticity, the U.S. Special Forces have recovered what appears to be a stolen Picasso painting.

According to the Boston Globe,

The painting has a tag on the back with several misspellings that says it was sold by “the louvre” to “the museum of kuwait,” with the words Louvre and Kuwait in lower case. There are also several stamps bearing the name of the Louvre Museum in Paris.


…an official with the Louvre Museum said it has never had a Picasso in its collection and does not sell its works because they are government property. The official spoke on condition of anonymity according to museum policy.

More from the Globe here.


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