Saturday, October 25, 2014

Lawsuit: Revenge Porn Law Criminalizes Artists

A coalition of artists, booksellers, and journalists, led by Dan Pochoda with the ACLU Foundation of Arizona, have united to sue Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne and all of Arizona’s county attorneys, alleging that a new state law making it a felony to distribute nude photos of someone without his or her consent is unconstitutional.

Arizona House Bill 2515 makes it a crime to “intentionally disclose, display, distribute, publish, advertise, or offer a photograph, videotape, film or digital recording of another person in a state of nudity or engaged in a sexual act if the person knows or should have known that the person depicted has not consented to the disclosure.” Violation is a felony punishable by up to 3 years and 9 months in prison.

According to Courthouse News Service, “The booksellers say the law would criminalize a number of constitutionally protected scenarios, such as a college professor who shows students ‘Napalm Girl,’ Nick Ut’s Pulitzer-Prize winning photograph depicting a naked girl fleeing her village in Vietnam, a newspaper that publishes images of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, or an educator who uses photos of breast-feeding mothers.”

The group seeks a declaratory judgment that the law is unconstitutional, and an injunction stopping its enforcement.


NPR on the Notorious Art Forger, Mark Landis


For nearly 30 years, art forger Mark Landis duped dozens of museums into accepting fakes into their collections. His stunts made headlines around the world. But Mark Landis never asked for money so he never went to jail. Now his paintings and drawings are in a touring exhibition called Intent to Deceive, and he’s the subject of a new documentary called Art & Craft.



Deep In…

Art or porn?


What’s More Important, Privacy or Free Speech?

In Europe it’s privacy; in the U.S. it’s free speech. But should the U.S. follow the European legal model and force online giants like Google to remove content from search outcomes? Jeffrey Toobin pens some interesting thoughts in his usual fluid and concise manner regarding this very same question. You may read it here via The New Yorker. Highly recommend it.


What happens when National Geographic steals your art?

Barrett Lyon. (Image courtesy of

Barrett Lyon. (Image courtesy of

UPDATED: September 26, 2014 2:53pm

Apparently, and like many corporate behemoths, they throw crumbs at the artist and insist that they were not aware and had no reason to believe that the image it stole was yours (the artist) and not an image by another individual. I mean, why call them liars in this day and age of the internet, social media, and Google! In the eyes of most appropriators, like National Geographic, finding an image online is tantamount to finding a dollar bill on prostitute row.

National Geographic used artist Barrett Lyon’s Internet image ( on the cover of its bookazine, 100 Scientific Discoveries that Changed the World, and in the book, The Big Idea, without Lyon’s permission or respecting the Creative Commons license that allows it to be used free of charge for non-commercial purposes.

I have to wonder why instead of paying their lawyers to answer cease-and-desist letters with aggressive and false allegations that they will win the mother-of-all copyright battles they don’t instead pay their lawyers to do a bit of due diligence work? Is it a cost-benefit-analysis question? Perhaps. I mean, why not take the risk that the artist will never find out, and hell, if the artist does find out, what’s the likelihood that they will have registered their copyrighted artwork with the US Copyright Office? What’s the likelihood that the aggrieved artist will have access to a blog such as this one, to the NY Times, or the Huffington Post?

From the looks of it the artist, Barrett Lyon, is not backing off and is instead looking forward to fighting the magazine that brought us nudie pictures of Amazon women and “Oriental” landscapes.


At this point, I think I am going to push my legal options… Not just for me, but for the rights of all the people they have ripped off.



The numerous art lawsuits concerning Jörg Immendorff

During an interview last night I was asked if I’ve seen an increase of lawsuits in the so-called “art world.”

Since his death, there have been several lawsuits involving the bad-boy Düsseldorf-based artist, including cases over an alleged fake painting, realization rights for some of Immendorff’s sculptures, and inheritance claims from an extramarital son.

Well, I guess this is a “yes”?


New Mexican Law Impacts Art Sales

The LA Times on how a new Mexican law has put a damper on anonymous art buyers…and the art market.


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