NY Art Disputes Highlight Fame’s Role In Copyright Suits

Emilee Geist

Law360 (October 7, 2020, 4:29 PM EDT) — Copyright law does not generally protect famous artists more than lesser-known ones. However, an exception to this rule may be developing regarding certain rights that attach to works of visual art under the Visual Artists Rights Act.[1] Recent developments in two long-running […]

Law360 (October 7, 2020, 4:29 PM EDT) — Copyright law does not generally protect famous artists more than lesser-known ones. However, an exception to this rule may be developing regarding certain rights that attach to works of visual art under the Visual Artists Rights Act.[1]

Recent developments in two long-running art disputes in New York demonstrate both why VARA might operate differently than other, traditional applications of copyright law and why considering arguments about the fame of a visual artist outside the scope of VARA can undermine the policies supporting those traditional applications.

The first development is the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit’s landmark opinion in…

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