Warhol Foundation fights with Fair Use
Art Law

Warhol Foundation fights with Fair Use

A New York judge has thrown out a copyright lawsuit, after celebrity photographer, Lynn Goldsmith , claimed Andy Warhol unlawfully created artworks by using her photo of pop star, Prince, from 1981. A crop of Goldsmith’s photo next to the Warhol work. The Warhol Foundation, representing the deceased pop artist, successfully argued that 16 silkscreen prints of Prince fall under the controversial Fair Use exception to copyright infringement. In the US, Fair Use works are exempt from copyright infringement provided the offending party proves they created a ‘transformative’ work. A number of ambiguous ‘fairness factors’ are used to determine whether a work is transformative. Australian policymakers considered introducing a US-style Fair Use exception to the Copyright Act, following an endorsement by the Productivity Commission in 2017. After backlash from creative industries, Fair Use appears to have all-but disappeared from the agenda. But it’s not dead and buried yet, so Inside Imaging is keeping track on how Fair Use is frequently against photographers attempting to protect their copyright. The Goldsmith v Warhol case has an unusual beginning. Goldsmith was preemptively sued by The Warhol Foundation in 2017, following her attempt to settle for an ‘extremely modest’ sum. Goldsmith shot the […]

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