Sunday, April 23, 2017

In an age where some artists are calling for the destruction of art, others are calling for its preservation.

Story on the vandalism of William Kentridge’s Rome mural.

Via Artforum.


Due Diligence in Pompidou’s Jeff Koons Exhibition

Naked, by Jeff Koons. French court found this sculpture to infringe copyright.

Naked, by Jeff Koons. French court found this sculpture to infringe copyright.

Apparently the Pompidou wanted the Koons exhibition so bad it agreed to all of Jeff Koons LLC’s contractual demands, including the obligation to exhibit a work that turned out to infringe a third-party’s copyright. In-house counsel?


In France, Who Pays Resale Royalty?

French court clarifies who pays the artist’s resale royalty (at least for now). Christie’s auction house will appeal.


In Cheerleading-Copyright Scuffle, US Supreme Court Cites Duchamp

Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands, Justice Breyer's Dissent.

Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands, Justice Breyer’s Dissent.

In a 6-2 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held last week that designs on cheerleading uniforms were protected by U.S. Copyright law.

You can read the opinion and Justice Breyer and Justice Kennedy’s dissent here. Art law nerds might find it interesting to scroll to the last page, where one will notice an image of Marcel Duchamp’s 1915 snow shovel as art object, better known as In Advance of the Broken Arm. Breyer cites Duchamp’s art work as an example of industrial design that, although could be thought of as an work-of-art, should not necessarily obtain copyright protection.

If only they had used Fountain instead of a snow shovel.


Should Organic Artworks Be Excluded From Copyright Protection?


Zahr Said has just posted her 2015 law review article on copyright’s fixation requirement and conceptual art on SSRN.

Via his abstract, Said argues,

This Essay argues that copyright illogically excludes conceptual art from protection on the basis of fixation, given that well-settled case law has interpreted the fixation requirement to reach works that contain certain kinds of change so long as they are sufficiently repetitive to be deemed permanent. While conceptual art may perhaps be better left outside the scope of copyright protection on the basis of its failure to meet copyright’s other requirements, this Essay concludes that fixation should not be the basis on which to exclude conceptual art from protection. There are of course both normative and descriptive questions around the copyright-ability of conceptual art; this Essay addresses itself primarily to the descriptive question of fixation, and whether works of art that contain change, by design, must be excluded.

Worth a read.


Should Writers Be Granted Moral Rights?


Here are eight reasons why they should. Not saying we necessarily agree.

Keep in mind that in the U.S., only visual artists currently get moral rights protection, and only for certain types of art works.


How Long Does Copyright Protection Last…In China?

Image courtesy of jmhuillot via Wikipedia, CC BY 3.0.

Image courtesy of jmhuillot via Wikipedia, CC BY 3.0.

Apparently forever. Or at least from 209 BCE to the present.

Unfortunately this article via The Art Newspaper mixes trademark, copyright and patent IP protections, but that may not be their fault. The problem is most likely caused by the inability of the Emperor Qin Shihuang Mausoleum Site Museum in north-central China to figure out just how the heck they are going to argue that they own the intellectual property rights (or all rights) to the famous Terracotta Warriors.

As the rock band Genesis once said, there must be some misunderstanding.


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