Sunday, July 22, 2018

Federal appellate court says “no” to resale royalties

Artists who sold major paintings or sculptures in 1977 are in luck. Other artists who sold work before or after that year not so much thanks to a ruling on Friday from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that essentially dooms their hopes of collecting royalties from resales.

Keen followers of our blog will recall that we’re not very fond of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, mainly because they seem to be the only circuit that firmly believes that the rule of law is nothing but an inconvenience. Regardless, here’s what they feel about California’s resale royalties act.


U.S. Post Office loses another copyright infringement case, owes artist millions

Original on Left; Davidson's on right.

Original on Left; Davidson’s on right.

Some of you may remember the Gaylord v. U.S. copyright infringement case, where the U.S. Post Office used an image of a Vietnam memorial on postage stamps without the artist’s consent.

Now we have more good news for tax-payers: The same U.S. Post Office lost another copyright infringement case for using, get this, the wrong image of the Statue of Liberty. To add salsa to your Cheerios, this one’s gonna cost us more than $3.5 million.

Opinion available here. Background, going back to 2013, here.


Is renting public art a growing trend?


WSJ’s Daniel Grant,

When it comes to public displays of art, many cities are deciding that shorter is better. Some cities are finding that temporary contracts—renting an artist’s work instead of buying it—make it possible to cut costs, compared with the expense of purchasing and maintaining, say, a statue for permanent display. Short-term agreements can also help avoid controversy that modern art sometimes inspires.

More here (WSJ, so probably paywall).


When is a copyright registered?


The U.S. Supreme Court will resolve this circuit split: Whether it’s on receipt of application or when the Copyright Office accepts and files the registration.


Sir Anish Kapoor’s Clenched Fist of Copyright, the Battle Over Fair Use, and the NRA

I wrote a lengthier take on Sir Anish Kapoor’s lawsuit against the NRA for copyright infringement, up now at Hyperallergic.


Anish Kapoor wants to use copyright to censor speech


I’ve said this from the beginning: The NRA’s de mimimis use of Anish Kapoor’s sculpture is fair use. As much as Kapoor–or others, for that matter–may despise the NRA’s appropriation of his artwork for political reasons, U.S. Copyright law does not take into consideration the appropriator’s political ideology when assessing fair use. It’s understandable Kapoor would feel the need to “stand up” to the NRA and their “divisive and hate-filled campaign,” but one cannot help but see this as a symbolic stand that under law has no merit.

The NRA’s use of images of Kapoor’s work is pure political speech, the most protected form of speech under The First Amendment. The use of the artwork is also minimal, and not used and targeted for commercial reasons. In fact, and again, as much as some may oppose it, the NRA’s use of Kapoor’s artwork in their video is to give an overview of what is the United States, to them. We’ll keep an eye on this one.

I haven’t read the complaint (19154585-0–19332) yet, so more thoughts on that later.


Judge Upholds $6.75 Million in Damages Awarded to Graffiti Artists

Now for the real question: Will the graffiti artists buy art with the motherload?


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