Wednesday, April 16, 2014

2nd Circuit Officially Adopts Discovery Rule for Copyright Infringement Claims

The Second Circuit in Psihoyos v. John Wiley & Sons.

[W]e conclude that copyright infringement claims do not accrue until actual or constructive discovery of the relevant infringement[.]



Who Owns the Copyright to Your Tattoo?

Under U.K. law, if designed solely by the tattoo artist, then it’s the artist who owns the copyright.

Here’s an interesting take by Catherine Jasserand, PhD researcher at the University of Groningen in The Netherlands:

“An idea in itself is not protectable. If the client gives very vague instructions, then it is doubtful that he or she could be considered as a joint author. However, if client is contributing to the tattoo and decides on important elements such as the composition, shape and so on, I believe it could be argued that the client and tattoo artist could share authorship. In the end, what is important is to question the level of freedom that the tattoo artist has in the execution of the ‘design’ and which level of creativity is she using.”

Under current U.S. law, I think the outcome would be the same.

Via Needles and Sins.


Richard Prince and George W. Bush to Exhibit Paintings


Ok, so although they’re not exhibiting together, I’m sure that if they did a reasonable observer would have a hard time deciphering who the real artist is.

Prince is at Gagosian and Bush at the George W. Bush Presidential Library in Dallas. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Does it matter?


Who Bears the Burden of Caring for Public Art?

That’s the pickle the folk in Dallas are in. Note Robert Irwin’s position on this.


French Court Says ‘No Counterfeit’

I’m not well-versed in French law (actually, I’m not versed in it at all), but what strikes me as interesting about this case is that it pits, once again, artist against artist. I’m going to assume this story is correct (although clearly many times when non-lawyers write about art law cases they are quite frequently just plain wrong), and wonder what the standard for counterfeiting and unfair competition are under French law. Anyone know, please feel free to opine below.



Talks: Collaboration and Collectivity at The New School

Art & Law Program seminar on contemporary art, copyright and moral rights.

Art & Law Program seminar on contemporary art, copyright and moral rights.

I’ll be on a panel, Collective (Dis)engagement, at the New School on Saturday, April 5th, from 2-4pm. I’ll be talking a bit about my art practice and how the performative practice of law — in both individual and collective manifestations — allows for a more successful “model” of resistance that counters the tired and hypocritical manner in which many artists work today.

Here’s the rundown on the two-day symposium.

What Now? 2014 is a two-day symposium organized by Art in General in collaboration with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics. This launches a new series of annual conferences, called to investigate issues arising in the field of contemporary art. This year’s conference is dedicated to Collaboration and Collectivity and organized around three sessions spanning Friday and Saturday, with a keynote on Friday evening, delivered by Charles Esche.
In the spirit of philosopher Hannah Arendt, who taught at The New School for many years, the symposium examines collaboration through a politics of place—how the way in which we live and work together directly creates the political landscape we inhabit. In Arendt’s words, “To live together in the world means essentially that a world of things is between those who have it in common, as a table is located between those who sit around it; the world, like every in-between, relates and separates men at the same time.”

More info here via The Vera List Center.


NY Lawmakers Introduce Legislation to Protect Art Authenticators

Here’s a great overview, via Frankfurt Kurnit, of the New York State bill (S.6794/A.9016) (the “Bill”) that would amend the New York Arts and Cultural Affairs Law to provide certain protections for experts rendering opinions regarding the authenticity, attribution or authorship of works of fine art.

[T]he Bill is intended to incentivize two general categories of art experts. The first category includes those persons and entities that are recognized by the visual arts community as having expertise regarding the artist or artwork in question and provide good-faith opinions as to the authenticity, attribution, or authorship of a work of fine art. The Bill includes within its coverage authors of catalogues raisonné or other scholarly texts containing authenticity opinions. The second category includes those persons or entities recognized in the visual arts or scientific community as having expertise in uncovering facts that serve as a direct basis for an authenticity opinion (e.g. forensic scientists). Importantly, the Bill excludes from coverage those who render opinions about works in which they either have a financial interest, or have an interest in any transaction involving the work in question (other than mere compensation for the expert’s services).

Does this bill give authenticators too much power?


Clancco, Clancco: The Source for Art & Law, and 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