Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Criticism Earns Artist Conviction

It’s safe to say that child pornography is reprehensible and without any merit. Wishing to make this point, an artist just experienced a great example of how even good intentions can go awry.

On Wednesday, May 21st, “the Helsinki District Court found [artist and scholar] Ulla Karttunen guilty of possessing and distributing child pornography in relation to controversial artwork that the 52-year-old created in order to criticize erotic images of children she discovered online. The court called the crime ‘a forgivable act’ and said it would be ‘unreasonable to impose a punishment, as the defendant has had the same goal as the lawmakers’ in wanting to eliminate child pornography, according to Agence France-Presse. However, Karttunen told Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat that she felt the ambiguous decision would make her seem even more culpable to the public, since she has been convicted but not punished. She also questioned why this material is so easily found online and why, instead of acting to remove it, the authorities instead pursued her for shining a light on the issue.” More from the CBC.


Picasso Heiresses Sue Author and Publisher

“Marina Picasso, a granddaughter of the Spanish artist, and Catherine Hutin-Blay, her stepsister, are suing the journalist Pepita Dupont and her publisher for allegedly defaming them and their relatives in her book about Jacqueline [Picasso]. The book, La Vérité sur Jacqueline Picasso (The Truth about Jacqueline Picasso) is Dupont’s attempt to rehabilitate the woman who is typically depicted as the wicked stepmother who prevented two of Picasso’s four children from attending his funeral.” Dupont explained: “What disgusted me the most was the fact that during the 20th anniversary celebrations of the Musée Picasso her name was not mentioned anywhere, not even in the catalogue. And yet I had seen her shed tears so that this museum could exist. It was her who battled for 12 years to set it up.” The Musée Picasso in Paris has refused to sell the book, reputedly for fear of offending the Picasso family.

Complete story over at The Independent.


Spain to Apply Resale Rights

According to EL PAÍS, Spain’s Minister of Culture announced today that pending approved modification to their intellectual property laws, Spanish artists may yet acquire what is known in France as droit de suite or, resale rights. Approved by the European Parliament in September 2001, resale rights have already been in effect in other European countries but with inconsistent results. EL PAÍS reports that Spain is trying to comply with this European resale right which applies to diverse artistic media such as painting, collage, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, tapestries, ceramics, crystal, photography, and video art. The resale right fee would apply to any real person or legal entity who habitually sells art within the art market, such as galleries, auction houses, and agents. The applicable resale fee would vary depending on the resale price: a minimum .25% would be charged when the first resale price surpasses 500,000 euros, and a maximum 4% when the first resale price surpasses 50,000 euros. The maximum fee assessed would be 12,500 euros, and the applicable fee would always be paid by the buyer.

Read the rest of this entry »


Hello Copy Kat!

Donn Zaretsky has an interesting story regarding Tom Sachs and his Hello Kitty sculptures. It seems that Sachs’ sculptures, located in front of the Lever House in midtown Manhattan, infringe the intellectual property rights of Hello Kitty’s owner, Sanrio (note their handbag series…a knockoff of Murakami and LV?). However, New York Magazine reports that so far they’re ok with this type of infringement because after all, there really is no difference between Sachs’ gesture and that of Warhol or Koons. So what’s the point right?

(Don’t go infringing this photo…Clancco owns the copyright to it!)

Anyhow, finding ourselves intrigued, we sent a Clancco intern to take a look at these Hello Kitty sculptures and shoot some images for us and for those that don’t find themselves in the Gotham City vicinity (click below for the images). Being a new intern, Ms. Valencia surprised us with her mental acuity by capturing an interesting shot of the back of one of Sachs’ Lever House sculptures, emblazoned with copyright and accreditation language. Very nice!

Read the rest of this entry »


Ironic Infringement

Interesting story in today’s NY Times regarding fashion designers and their plea for copyright protection. Dana Foley and Anna Corinna, two ex-flea-marketers turned millionaire fashionistas are a bit upset that other designers, primarily Forever 21, are “copying” their designs (what they call “knockoffs”) and selling them at much lower prices (at times 10% of the Foley & Corinna price). The irony my friends is this, that Foley & Corinna itself grew into a million dollar enterprise based on employing “knockoff” strategies or, what we’d like to call, artistic inspiration.

“But Ms. Corinna has an eye for vintage fashion, and Ms. Foley is intuitive about how to make new versions of those styles for modern women. For those reasons customers — and knockoff artists — have sought them out.”

Read the rest of this entry »


“If you want to go ahead and create an orphan work, be my guest!” (Update)

Lawrence Lessig weighs in on the current debate regarding the pending Orphan Works bill in Congress. In a NY Times op-ed from May 20, 2008, Lessig writes: “Congress is considering a major reform of copyright law intended to solve the problem of ‘orphan works’ — those works whose owner cannot be found. This “reform” would be an amazingly onerous and inefficient change, which would unfairly and unnecessarily burden copyright holders with little return to the public.”

Read the rest of this entry »


“I am 100% convinced it is a Vincent van Gogh”

What could be a third portrait of Vincent van Gogh’s physician is currenlty stashed in a bank vault in Athens. It is believed this could be the last painting van Gogh produced, according to some art experts and collectors who are attempting to determine the authenticity of the picture found among the possessions of a Greek world war two resistance fighter.

Read the rest of this entry »


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