Category Archives: Copyright

A Step Toward Fencing in Aberrant Artistic Appropriation

Posted on: February 19, 2024 by Molly Stech

On 25 January, 2024, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York entered judgements against appropriation artist Richard Prince and his co‑defendants Laurence Gagosian, the Gagosian Gallery and Blum & Poe Gallery. The cases are Graham v. Prince et al (15 cv 10160) and McNatt v. Prince et al (16 cv 08896). […]

Steamboat Willie’s Mickey Mouse Has Entered the Public Domain: The End of a Copyrighted Era

Posted on: February 5, 2024 by Chiara Gallo

When the clock struck midnight on the first day of 2024, one of the most anticipated Public Domain Days was finally reached and the first iteration of Mickey Mouse was released into the public domain in the US. This meant that, after 95 years and several changes in the US copyright regime, the first ever […]

Important UK Copyright Case on ‘Originality’ Standard

Posted on: January 23, 2024 by Emily Gould

A recent decision by the Court of Appeal in London, handed down in November 2023, has triggered a stream of comment and debate among scholars and art historians. The case of THJ v Sheridan does not, at first glance, appear to have much at all to do with the arts sector, involving, as it did, […]

Munich Regional Court Makes Decision on Joint Authorship of “Paris Bar” Works

Posted on: November 13, 2023 by Adrienne Bauer

The Paris Bar in Berlin’s Kantstraße is a traditional meeting place for the arts and culture scene of the German capital and a true institution. Three paintings depicting this very bar have now become the subject of an interesting copyright decision by the Munich Regional Court. Specifically, it concerns the works “Paris Bar (Version 1-3)” […]

US Copyright Requirement for ‘Human Authorship’ Enforced in AI Test Case – But that “Bedrock” May Be Changing

Posted on: September 22, 2023 by Stephanie Drawdy

Neither the US Constitution nor the US Copyright Act mandates ‘human authorship’ for copyright. Yet, the US Copyright Office (USCO) has come out strong in its requirement of the human element, denying registration to computer-generated work on that basis and even winning summary judgment in a federal case related to one such denial. Why then […]

Pending AI Suits in the US: Frivolous or Crucial?

Posted on: June 9, 2023 by Stephanie Drawdy

The US Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law held a hearing in May 2023 on “Oversight of AI: Rules for Artificial Intelligence”. During that hearing, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman testified about the myriad of issues raised by generative AI. Certainly content creators/owners “need to benefit from this technology”, Altman offered. But […]

Andy Warhol decision at US Supreme Court: a whimper, not a bang

Posted on: May 22, 2023 by Alexander Herman

Pity the Andy Warhol Foundation. Not only did the Foundation have to close its associated authentication board in 2012, but now it has lost what was probably the most high-profile artistic copyright lawsuit of a generation. Although Warhol’s artworks and his brand continue to enjoy high levels of popularity and financial success, the Foundation has […]

The Vitruvian Man highlights puzzling elements of Italian cultural heritage laws

Posted on: April 24, 2023 by Chiara Gallo

The ‘Art Collection’ series of jigsaw puzzles by Ravensburger is an ever popular pastime and features many of the world’s most renowned masterpieces, from the likes of Haring and Klimt to Botticelli and Leonardo Da Vinci. In fact, Ravensburger’s recent reproduction of Da Vinci’s Uomo Vitruviano as one of its jigsaws has sparked a legal […]

The perpetual copyright protection of Italian cultural heritage: bypassing the public domain

Posted on: December 2, 2022 by Chiara Gallo

In recent weeks, Botticelli’s Birth of Venus appeared on the headlines of some of the most important news outlets, due to the allegedly ‘unauthorised’ commercial use of the famous masterpiece. The fashion house Jean Paul Gaultier is facing a suit for damages that could exceed £88,000 (€100,000) brought by the Uffizi, the oldest Florentine museum, […]

A North Carolina Filmmaker Continues to Challenge State Sovereign Immunity

Posted on: October 28, 2022 by Gina McKIveen

For nearly two decades, Rick Allen, an experienced underwater videographer and professional photographer, documented the retrieval and recovery process of an 18th century pirate shipwreck off the coast of North Carolina. A dispute over the copyright in the works produced between Allen and the State of North Carolina (the “State”) is now approaching its tenth […]