Category Archives: Copyright

An important step towards asserting graffiti artists’ rights

Posted on: November 21, 2017 by Emily Gould

A recent finding of a jury in a Federal District Court in Brooklyn, New York City,[1] has opened the door for greater protection for graffiti artists. At the core of disputes between graffiti artists and the real property owners their works adorn often lies the age-old debate as to whose property rights prevail: those of […]

Public domain and the internet

Posted on: May 24, 2017 by Alexander Herman

A number of issues arise when we use images of artistic works online. Here, I am referring to copyright and to the specific treatment of images of older works that may – or may not – have fallen into the public domain. Of course, once copyright has expired in a work, that work will enter the public […]

Jeff Koons infringes French photographer’s copyright

Posted on: May 4, 2017 by Hélène Deslauriers

In March, Jeff Koons and the Pompidou Centre in Paris were held jointly liable for copyright infringement.  The work at issue was a porcelain sculpture of about 40 inches representing two naked children.  The sculpture was part of Koons’s ‘Banality’ series and was scheduled to be part of a Koons retrospective at the Pompidou Centre […]

Charging Bull, Fearless Girl and comparative moral rights

Posted on: April 25, 2017 by Alexander Herman

A story has been brewing over the past few weeks involving the famed Charging Bull sculpture that sits in the middle of Bowling Green in Lower Manhattan. The sculpture was made by Arturo di Modica and installed without permission near Wall St as a Christmas gift from the artist to New Yorkers in December 1989. […]

What is art? And should courts of law decide?

Posted on: February 28, 2017 by Alexander Herman

In Yasmina Reza’s 1994 play ‘Art‘, three male friends spend much time discussing the question, ‘What is art?’ The reason is that one of the characters, Serge, has bought a work from a popular contemporary artist that is more or less just a white canvas. More or less, because there is some debate as to whether […]

Lubaina Himid and the power of appropriation art

Posted on: February 16, 2017 by Alexander Herman

There is a very intriguing exhibition on at the moment at Modern Art Oxford featuring the artist Lubaina Himid. She makes political, opinionated and at times furious pieces in various media, from sculpture to canvas to pottery. The show is called Invisible Strategies and spans work going back to the artist’s early days in the 1980s to pieces created just last year. […]

Richard Prince’s ‘New Portraits’…another twist in the tale

Posted on: August 30, 2016 by Emily Gould

Our attention has been drawn yet again, this week, to the vexed question of ‘fair use’ as an exception to copyright protection under US law. When is a new work of art which draws on an existing copyright work acceptable, and when does it overstep the mark? The saga surrounding well-known appropriation artist Richard Prince […]

An end to ‘bargain basement’ design furniture

Posted on: August 7, 2016 by Emily Gould

Anyone keen to net a cut price replica Charles Eames chair, a bargain ‘Arco-style’ lamp or a reproduction Barcelona chair would be well-advised to act quickly. A change to the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 which came into force last Thursday (28th July) will mean that in six months’ time, copies of such modern […]

Brexit and the changes to ‘art law’

Posted on: June 29, 2016 by Alexander Herman

Of course we need to mention the very real possibility of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union following last Thursday’s referendum vote. We held a class on Saturday as part of our Diploma in Art Profession Law and Ethics (with some sad faces in the room, it should be said) and listed off a number of instruments and regulations in […]

Artists and user-generated content

Posted on: May 16, 2016 by Alexander Herman

My aunt, Gabrielle de Montmollin, a photographer and artist in Canada, is currently exhibiting her work in Toronto. I thought the show would be a good opportunity to discuss some of the copyright issues raised by her artistic approach. In particular, it serves as a way to explore a relatively new exception existing under Canadian […]