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Copyrights Entertainment and Sports Law Intellectual Property Litigation

Analysis of Warhol Art Fair Use Ruling

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York held that a series of silkscreen paintings and prints by Andy Warhol based on a photograph of music legend Prince taken by Lynn Goldsmith constituted a transformative fair use.

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The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, in a ruling during the summer by District Judge John J. Koetl, held that a series of silkscreen paintings and prints by Andy Warhol based on a photograph of music legend Prince taken by Lynn Goldsmith constituted a transformative fair use. The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts v. Goldsmith, 382 F.Supp. 3d 312 (S.D.N.Y.). In so holding, Judge Koetl relied on the 2013 Second Circuit decision holding that an “appropriation artist,” Richard Prince (no relation to the musician Prince), made a transformative and fair use of photographs taken by Patrick Cariou. Cariou v Prince, 714 F.3d 694 (2d Cir. 2013). Cariou has been criticized for its characterization of the changes made by Richard Prince as transformative, a criticism that Lynn Goldsmith no doubt will be making in her pending appeal of Judge Koetl‘s decision.

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