Fair Use Flop: Understanding The Second Circuit’s Decision in Warhol v. Goldsmith

On March 26, 2021, the Second Circuit ruled that a decades-old series of prints created by Andy Warhol depicting music legend Prince infringed the copyrighted photograph by Lynn Goldsmith on which the series was based. Warhol’s series of prints takes Goldsmith’s traditional, black and white portrait of the singer and superimposes it with his signature pop art stylization. Goldsmith did not find out that Warhol had used her image until Prince died in 2016. The court’s decision overturned a district court ruling which declared Warhol’s works legal under the fair use doctrine. But what exactly is the fair use doctrine, and why was it so important in this case? Let’s find out.

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Trademarks Aren’t for Losers: Banksy Defeated In Legal Battle With UK Greeting Card Company

Banksy, one of the world’s most notorious street artists, has learned a hard lesson about trademarks. Trademarks is a type of intellectual property (“IP”) that protects things such as brand names and logos. The British artist recently lost a court battle in which the trademark for his popular Flower Thrower image was declared invalid. However, Banksy’s contempt for copyright, which protects artistic expressions such as his graffiti art, and other IP is well documented. Why then did he seek to trademark the Flower Thrower image in the first place? And why was the trademark found invalid? It is all tied to Banksy’s desire keep his identity a secret.

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TikTok: A Copyright Time Bomb?

TikTok has quickly taken over the internet since its global launch just a few years ago. You have probably heard of this app, which allows users to create short videos. Despite being released globally in August of 2018, it is now one of the most-downloaded apps of the 2010s. But concerns of copyright infringement emanate throughout the platform. A copyright is a collection of rights that belong to someone who creates an original work of authorship, such as a book, song, painting, or sculpture. These rights include the exclusive rights to reproduce, distribute, publicly perform, publicly display, or create derivatives of the creative work. The person or entity to which these rights belong is referred to as the copyright owner. Copyright infringement occurs when a copyrighted work is reproduced, distributed, performed, publicly displayed, or made into a derivative work without the permission of the copyright owner. So, what are some of the copyrighted works that TikTok is infringing? Let’s find out…

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From Art to Intellectual Property Law

My path to law school began with art. You might think that sentence sounds illogical, maybe even a bit absurd. And the truth is, I too once believed the misconception that art and law have nothing in common. But the fact that you are reading this right now is proof that is not true. I’ve since discovered that not only are there art lawyers, but that the field of intellectual property (IP) law is essential to the arts. Let me explain…

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