You'll perhaps remember NEWSgrist's coverage of Blanch v. Koons (Nov. 2005): Jeff Koons had won a summary judgment in a case he took on when commercial photographer Andrea Blanch sued him for copyright infringement; Blanch appealed, and has lost. This is great news for artists as it reverses the early '90s "Puppies" decision; Laura Quilter writes:
A great decision from the 2d Circuit in another case about Jeff Koons. Collage artists haven't had a lot of caselaw to work with before Blanch v. Koons, and it's reassuring to get a positive spin on transformative artistic uses.
Download and read the decision: http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/circs/2nd/056433p.pdf
Blanch v. Koons, No. 05-6433 (2nd Circuit, October 26, 2006)
Summary judgment for defendants, a visual artist and institutions that commissioned and exhibited one of his paintings, is affirmed where an artist's appropriation of a copyrighted image in a collage painting constitutes a protected "fair use" under copyright law.
via The Art Law Blog:
Monday, October 30, 2006
The New York Law Journal reports today ($) on a big victory by Jeff Koons in a copyright infringement lawsuit brought against him by photographer Andrea Blanch. Koons used part of a photograph by Blanch in his painting "Niagara" (which you can see, and read about, here). The Southern District granted summary judgment to Koons on fair use grounds last year, and the Second Circuit has now affirmed.
Blanch's photo, entitled "Silk Sandals by Gucci" (you can see a mediocre black-and-white reproduction here), appeared in Allure magazine in 2000. Koons digitally scanned the photo and incorporated it into "Niagara," as one of the four pairs of legs depicted (the ones second from the left). He used only the legs -- "discarding the background of the airplane cabin and the man's lap on which the legs rest." He also "inverted the orientation of the legs so that they dangle vertically downward ... rather than slant upward at a 45-degree angle as they appear in the photograph." He added a heel to one of the feet, and modified the colors.
As Professor Patry says, "the case can be reduced to two fundamentals: Koons' use was highly transformative and the copyright owner suffered no harm to her market; the rest is window dressing." [read on...]
via Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman, P.C.:
Copyright Fair Use 2005: Fine Art, Monster Movies and Karaoke
By Robert W. Clarida and Robert J. Bernstein
December 6, 2005
via CLANCCO, 11/01/06:
Koons Wins Appeal and Right to Use Copyrighted Material
The Second Circuit court of appeals, which hears appellate cases for the state of New York, recently found that Jeff Koons' use of a fashion photographer's photo was protected by fair use.
via Decision of the Day
A daily summary of the best (and worst) of federal appellate decisions:
Artist Jeff Koons Wins a Copyright Suit, Finally
Blanch v. Koons, 05-6433 (2nd Cir., Oct. 26, 2006)