Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Show Me the Money! More on Artist Resale Rights

NPR ran a story yesterday on the reinvigorated fight in the US for a federal law granting visual artists resale rights, a type of royalty on the resale of artworks via auction houses.

Some artists are for it, while others, like Loren Munk, believe that artists are not only greedy, but whores as well: “‘Artists are like whores,’ [Munk] says, ‘and a lot of them are like old, old whores on the street’ who would be worried about scaring away potential clients.”

What’s the likelihood this bill will pass? NPR: “by some accounts, it does appear to have a slim chance of passing.”


Canadian Artist Uses Copyright to Stop Pipeline Development

Image courtesy of Peter von Tiesenhausen. Copyright Peter von Tiesenhausen.

Image courtesy of Peter von Tiesenhausen. Copyright Peter von Tiesenhausen.

I’m still trying to get to the bottom of this, so any Canadian copyright lawyers out there please feel free to chime in.

It appears that Canadian artist, Peter von Tiesenhausen, has been able to fend off pipeline developers by creating and installing sculptural works on his land. The confusing part is that news sources, like this one, are claiming that von Tiesenhausen has “copyrighted” his land as a work of art, and that it is this copyright that has kept pipeline developers from taking von Tiesenhausen’s work. However, this news source claims it’s “the threat of a long, drawn out court case that would be widely covered by the media.”

I’m wondering how much of this ado is due to potential moral rights claims von Tiesenhausen may have under Canadian copyright law, which of course would add to the value of the land (again, Canadian copyright lawyers please feel free to chime in). reports,

His legal move vastly increased the amount of compensation he is potentially entitled to demand from any oil or pipeline company wanting access to his place, because changing his property would be copyright infringement.

“Now instead of maybe $200 a year for crop losses, we’d have to be paid for maybe $600,000 or more in artistic property disturbance.”

And there are still the negative PR issues the pipeline developers would have to face should they opt to move forward with acquiring von Tiesenhausen’s land.


Nevada Senator Introduces Bill to Preserve Heizer Project

Senator Harry Reid of Nevada has introduced a bill that would preserve the land around Michael Heizer’s massive uncompleted earthwork City. Titled the “Garden Valley Withdrawal Act”, the legislation would protect 805,100 acres of Federal land from mineral and energy development.

More via The Art Newspaper.


Resale Rights Fight Not Over Yet

Hope everyone had a happy Halloween.


Not quite scary as much as shocking, news broke yesterday that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will be rehearing the resale rights arguments, en banc (which means that it’s quite possible that all of the 9th Circuit judges will hear the arguments).

What the heck does that mean? Here’s Nicholas O’Donnell,

Ordinarily, an appeal to the full circuit court follows an adverse decision from a three-judge panel. Typically, the dissatisfied party asks the entire court, which can be several or dozens of judges, to consider the matter as a whole. Here, the Court itself took notice an initiated the en banc question before a panel decided it.

O’Donnell has a good overview here. More via Reuters.


Artists Parody the Rehnquist Court

The Rehnquist Court.

The Rehnquist Court.

New York-based theater ensemble Elevator Repair Service (ERS) returns to Los Angeles’ REDCAT next week with Arguendo, an absurdist look at a 1991 U.S. Supreme Court case, Barnes v. Glen Theatre. The case tested the limits of the First Amendment, questioning whether state laws prohibiting complete nudity in public—in particular, dancing nude at an Indiana strip club—violated the right to freedom of expression.

Via ERS,

Arguendo is a staging of Barnes v. Glen Theatre’s entire oral argument, verbatim, set against Ben Rubin’s OBIE-award winning projection design of animated text. The argument is interspersed with bits of real interviews with the justices, the lawyers and an exotic dancer who traveled all the way from the Déja Vu Club in Saginaw, Michigan to listen to the argument at The Supreme Court.

More info via 24700.


Warhol Foundation Sues Former Bodyguard

They’re accusing the former bodyguard of stealing a 1964 painting of Elizabeth Taylor. 


Getty Images Ramping Down Enforcement Tactics

Licensing giant Getty Images says it is ramping down its enforcement policies and turn infringers into customers.


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