Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Gumby sues Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez


The flexible toy dummy, GUMBY, is suing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for appropriating his image without his consent. “It’s very disturbing to wake up and all of a sudden see yourself on national television,” said GUMBY. “To use my image, likeness, and voice for political gain is outrageous.” When asked if he would consider withrawing his lawsuit and license his image to AOC, GUMBY quietly retorted, “That is something where I just won’t bend.” The colorful lawsuit alleges right of publicity, copyright, fraud, misrepresentation, trademark and violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, and asks for injunctions and damages for emotional distress and mental anguish.


Gasp! Guggenheim to deaccession artwork

Sotheby’s announced last month that it would offer Zao Wou-Ki’s large-scale 1958 untitled oil painting in its Hong Kong Modern art evening sale in March, where it is poised to bring in $7.7m-$10m.


Artist sues Ariana Grande for copyright infringement

A scene in Ariana Grande’s 2018 music video God is a Woman allegedly plagiarised the work of the Russian-American artist Vladimir Kush, according to a complaint filed by the artist [on January 31, 2019] against the singer, her record label and others involved in making the video.

More here.


Postmortem Right of Publicity Statutes and the Dormant Commerce Clause

For the nerds out there, here’s a law student note on rights of publicity.

This Note argues that current state postmortem right of publicity statutes are unconstitutional under the dormant Commerce Clause. The dormant Commerce Clause doctrine is an implicit restriction within the Commerce Clause that prohibits states from regulating interstate commerce. The current patchwork of state postmortem right of publicity statutes violates the dormant Commerce Clause in two different ways.

More here.


Nirvana against Marc Jacobs


On December 28, 2018, Nirvana filed a complaint in California district court against Marc Jacobs for copyright and trademark infringement. Nirvana alleges that Marc Jacobs is using a smiley face design “that is obviously similar to, and an intentional copy of, Nirvana’s copyrighted image . . . with the minor differences unlikely to be noticed by the consuming public.”

More here.


Would U.S. resale royalties help historically disadvantaged artists?

The introduction of droit de suite legislation in the US would help rectify this inconvenience for well-known contemporary artists like [Kerry James] Marshall but it would be an even bigger boon for historically disadvantaged artists who have been left out of the American cannon of art for reasons of race, gender or other socio-economic limitations. This is especially true of the many artists who lack representation or a presence in the art market until the end of their careers or posthumously.

But even if there is a federal resale royalty, the current proposal doesn’t seem like enough. For instance,

The ART Act could provide a small measure of equity to artists by allowing them a 5% royalty of the price paid for their work within 90 days when it is resold at auction. But the terms are still limited—all art sold for less than $5,000 is exempted, and the 5% royalty is capped at $35,000 regardless of how much the work sells for.

So if a buyer purchased a painting from a recent MFA grad for $5,000, and then resold it for $5,000,000, the artist would only receive $35,000 instead of $250,000. That’s a huge difference. So why the delay in passing the bill?

More here.


On branding and the artworld

More on the corporation as artist.


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