Thursday, September 3, 2015

Was Philadelphia’s Erasure of Cosby Mural Illegal?


Nicholas O’Donnell explains,

Few things have brought consensus recently more than the revulsion over the allegations against comedian Bill Cosby, a Philadelphia native.  Yet in a desire to distance itself from Cosby, the city may have crossed a First Amendment line when a well-known mural entitled “Father’s Day” that depicts Cosby was painted over.  And even if the city did not run afoul of that constitutional protection, the artist of the mural may have [a claim] under the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990, 17 U.S.C. § 106A (VARA) rights too. [Brackets added]


Gerhard Richter Disowns Early Works From West German Period

And collectors aren’t liking it.


Only a Few Left: The First Ever Limited Edition Art & Law T-Shirt


There are still some left. The very first–and official–Art & Law “original, no borders, no rules, NYC” t-shirt is out. This t-shirt is original, limited edition (only 50 printed) and comes with its very own certificate of authenticity (this way you can eventually flip it for a profit). This t-shirt is soft and cozy, and you can easily cut off the sleeves for a tougher look. So get yours now and become a nomad before they sell out!

Only $25.00 (USD, plus $5.00 shipping), and available in small and medium (sorry, we are all SOLD OUT of large and x-large). All proceeds go to The Art & Law Program‘s Dire Need Fund (“Fund”). The Fund is meant to help Art & Law Program alumni who need small amounts of money to pay off medical bills, utility bills, rent, travel, art and research materials, etc. Get yours now.




Panel: The Artist’s Resale Right at Artist’s Space, NYC

600px-US-CopyrightOffice-Seal.svgYou heard right. And here’s the quite awesome lineup of speakers:

Dr. Theodore Feder and Janet Hicks of the Artists Rights Society, Maxwell Graham, Hans Haacke, Lauren van Haaften-Schick, R. H. Quaytman, and Justice Barbara Jaffe

In light of recent action at the congressional level concerning artists’ resale rights, this event will provide a public forum for discussion around the proposed legislation of secondary market art sales in the US, and will locate these developments in relation to historical and international precedents and alternative models.

Presentations & Discussion
Wednesday, July 22, 2015, 7pm

Artists Space Books & Talks
55 Walker Street, NYC

$5 Entrance Donation
Members Free, Guaranteed Entry

More info and an awesome and historic image via Artist’s Space.

UPDATE: July 24, 2015

Hyperallergic’s coverage here, and The Art Newspaper’s coverage here.


Artists, Copyright Office Wants to Know: What Is the Market Value of Your Work?

copyrightAs strange as it sounds the past few years have been an interesting time at the United States Copyright Office. Following a 2013 report in favor of a federal Artists Resale Right, Rep. Jerrold Nadler has in 2014 and 2015 introduced the American Royalties Too Act for consideration by congress, and there is proposed legislation that would enable musicians and composers to receive broader royalties as well. This is just the start of the Copyright Office’s activities inching towards a thorough and much needed overhaul (or at an least update) of the copyright code.
Some of the most common criticisms I hear from artists about the copyright system is that it is not designed to serve the needs of individual artists, but rather serves to protect more powerful publishers and big-moneyed corporate interests. The reality is that we need a copyright law that is capable of protecting all of these actors – the “big” guys, “little” guys, and whoever is in between. Lucky for us we do live under a political system that allows for some public voice in legislative matters, and artists have a chance (many chances actually) to influence congressional decisions that impact their economic interests.
We are currently nearing the end of the open comments period concerning the copyright registration, enforcement, and monetization process for visual art, specifically photography and graphic arts. According to the department’s site, “the Office is specifically interested in the current marketplace for these visual works, as well as observations regarding the real or potential obstacles that these authors and, as applicable, their licensees or other representatives face when navigating the digital landscape.”
Whether you have previously registered your work or not, this could be an important opportunity to weigh in on this issue, and to protect and assert your interests. Are the registration fees to high? Is the duration of copyright too long or too short? Do you want a more restrictive, more open, or a tiered system? Whatever your position is, take the time to let the Copyright Office know. Copyright is at its heart about an author’s economic interest in their work. Copyright is a labor right – claim it.

German court orders Random House to pay relatives of former top Nazi

 Joseph Goebbels in 1932. Joseph Goebbels in 1932. German Federal Archives via Wikimedia.

Joseph Goebbels in 1932.
Joseph Goebbels in 1932. German Federal Archives via Wikimedia.

The diary of Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler’s minister of propaganda, is a unique look inside the Nazi war machine. It’s also copyrighted, and a German court ruled on Thursday that his estate must be paid royalties by Random House, which published a 2010 biography using parts of the diary.

Via ArsTechnica.


How to Sue Richard Prince and Win


Artist and writer, Nate Harrison: “Artists should be encouraged to explore the possibilities that copying provides. But that doesn’t absolve them from taking responsibility for their actions. Artists are obligated to the images they re-use. It’s important that they do critical things with them, and not merely reproduce cultural and economic capital for the one percent while feigning comradeship with the social media masses.”


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