Thursday, September 21, 2023

Village law compels empty storefronts to display art

Southampton, the glitzy vacation destination on the eastern end of New York’s Long Island, now requires landlords of storefronts that have been vacant at least a month to join with local artists to liven up these typically dreary eyesores with art installations.

There’s a catch of course. The art cannot “make political statements or potentially offend children.”

Compelled speech?


“Fraud is not unusual in the $64 billion global art market.”

The buyer “didn’t send the payment to an escrow account—which was not unusual, given the old-­fashioned agreements the art world still relies on.” The buyer explains that this choice was due to “the strong referral from a trusted friend, the need to act quickly…”

The art dealer “lied, fabricated email correspondence, and faked bank transfers, but she also made real payment of deposit and restoration, and shipping costs,” the buyer says.

If I had a dollar for every time this kind of mess happens, I would own the Dallas Cowboys by now.


Federal Court Rules “Covid-19 Pandemic is a Natural Disaster”

Finding in favour of Phillips Auctioneers LLC, Hon. Denise Cote of the Southern District of New York dismissed JN Contemporary Art LLC’s complaint against Phillips, holding that (i) “[i]t cannot be seriously disputed that the COVID-19 pandemic is a natural disaster”; and (ii) Phillips, therefore, did not breach its consignment and guarantee agreement with JN Contemporary when it invoked the force majeure provision[1] in the agreement to terminate the parties’ relationship.

More here.


“Art critic” Rob Storr pulls no punches

Rarely do I agree with pompous and elderly aromatic Rob Storr, but this time I do. “I also distrust academic Marxists because they have never done any real politics at all, so they don’t know that danger.” God bless!


Seth Siegelaub: “Better Read Than Dead” Conversation and Book Launch

Don’t miss this interesting panel on a new book concerning Seth Siegelaub and his very own “writings—one of the projects for which he never found the time, busy as he was running his global one-man operation. Edited by a group of researchers and curators who each collaborated with Siegelaub, the book brings together his personal notes, public interviews, and precious few published writings into one volume, offering unprecedented insight into the many facets of his inquisitive life.”

Panel includes Lauren van Haaften-Schick, Jo Melvin, and James Hoff. More info on this event here.


Significant New Trademark and Copyright Legislation

Our good friend, Dave Steiner, gives us a good recap of recent copyright and trademark legislation.

Interestingly, in regard to the Copyright (Small) Claims Board, Steiner writes,

Participating in a procedure before the CCB is voluntary—a respondent may opt out of a procedure originally brought before the CCB. In that event, the CCB must dismiss the proceeding without prejudice, which presumably would force the claimant to file a case in district court. Although other consequences of opting out are not yet clear, we would expect that doing so may lead to larger damages awards and increase the probability of an award of attorneys’ fees for a claimant who prevails over a respondent who has opted out.


2021 Art & Law Program Fellows Announced

You may read about the new crop of Art & Law Program fellows here.


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