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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> Richard Prince / Gagosian case - report and text
Showing posts 1 - 5 of 5, descending (reverse)
05/02/2013 05:21:21 PM · #1
In a new case out of Los Angeles that came down in favor of photographer Dennis Morris on the appropriation of his images of Sid Vicious by street artist Thierry Guetta (better known as Mr Brainwash) where the limits of the "transformative" was much more tightly viewed than in the Cariou/Prince case. Of course it may come down to the better known artist wins the case.

Mr Brainwash loses Sid Vicious appropriation case
Judge says Sid Vicious street art breaks copyright

Message edited by author 2013-05-02 17:23:27.
04/28/2013 11:20:10 AM · #2
I should amend what I said earlier also, I missed that it wasn't a month or so between rulings, but rather, two years and month...need more coffee.
04/28/2013 11:06:42 AM · #3
To me, this is the interesting part:

Originally posted by The Ruling:

Accordingly, Prince's Paintings are transformative only to the extent that they comment
on the Photos
; to the extent they merely recast, transform, or
adapt the Photos, Prince's Paintings are instead infringing
derivative works. See Castle Rock, 150 F.3d at 143.

Prince testified that he has no interest in the original
meaning of the photographs he uses. See RP Tr. at 338.
Prince testified that he doesn't Ureally have a message" he
attempts to communicate when making art. RP Tr. at 45-46. In
creating the Paintings, Prince did not intend to comment on any
aspects of the original works or on the broader culture.


Prince also testified that his purpose in appropriating
other people's originals for use in his artwork is that doing so
helps him get as much fact into [his] work and reducer] the
amount of speculation." RP Tr. at 44. That is, he chooses the
photographs he appropriates for what he perceives to be their
truth - suggesting that his purpose in using Cariou's Rastafarian
portraits was the same as Cariou's original purpose in taking
them: a desire to communicate to the viewer core truths about
Rastafarians and their culture.


On the facts before the Court, it is apparent that Prince
did not intend to comment on Cariou, on Cariou's Photos, or on
aspects of popular culture closely associated with Cariou or the
Photos when he appropriated the Photos
, and Price's own testimony
shows that, though Prince intended his overall work to be
creative and new.

That's what the original ruling said, and that's what the appeals court overturned :-(

Message edited by author 2013-04-28 11:08:59.
04/28/2013 10:50:23 AM · #4
What appears to have been a fairly rapid appeal...

With some fairly presumptuous comments about the value of the art and the potential buyers:

"The court also noted that the invitation list for a dinner that was hosted in conjunction with the opening of the "Canal Zone" show included wealthy and famous people, such as Robert De Niro, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, Jay-Z and Beyonce, artists Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and supermodel wife Gisele Bundchen, Vogue editor Anna Wintour and authors Jonathan Franzen and Candace Bushnell."

"He said the 2nd Circuit seemed to be saying "because one artist is not well known and hasn't been commercially successful, it's OK for another artist with impunity to just steal his stuff as long as he's famous and selling his art to rich people.""
03/24/2011 06:16:34 AM · #5
Guardian report on Richard Prince case

News report on case involving Richard Prince, appropriation artist, and artworks made from altering and montaging photographs of Rastafari by Patrick Cariou.

The full judgement is worth a read if you're that way inclined. Up to page 10 it's pretty tedious procedural stuff but section B (from page 10) is really interesting. Not being fully conversant with US Law I had taken at face value the assertion on various websites that all photographs are protected by copyright. Curiously that may not be the case -

"creative photographs are worthy of copyright protection"

and although the judge says the standard of creativity required is low, and there are no examples of photos which are insufficiently creative to be copyrightable, I think there may be some in my portfolio.

Good analysis of the four factor fair use test later.
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