On June 9, 2020, the Second Circuit effectively terminated Sotheby’s efforts to bring suit against a foreign nation for interference with one of its auctions, reversing and remanding Barnet v. Ministry of Culture and Sports of the Hellenic Republic to the Southern District of New York with instructions to dismiss
Continue Reading Second Circuit Holds that FSIA Bars Suit Against Sovereign Asserting Cultural Patrimony Claim

On August 14, 2019, Judge Lorna Schofield of the Southern District of New York entered an Opinion and Order in The Art & Antique Dealers League of America, Inc. v. Seggos, 18 Civ. 2504, ruling on the constitutionality of provisions of New York State Environmental Conservation Law § 11-0535-a
Continue Reading Art Dealers’ First Amendment Argument Against New York State Ivory Law Survives Motion to Dismiss

Despite a recent decision in favor of municipal and property-developer defendants, a case pending in the Central District of Illinois serves as yet another warning to property developers to seek VARA waivers from artists up front.

In April 2019, 13 artists (the “Artist-Plaintiffs”) brought VARA claims against two defendants, the
Continue Reading Fighting Back Against the “New Normal” – Artists Assert VARA Rights to Protect Street Art

A case pending in the Western District of Pennsylvania should provide the opportunity for a federal judge to clarify the pleading requirements for the “recognized stature” element of a VARA claim.

In April 2018, street artist Kyle Holbrook and two arts organizations that he founded brought VARA claims against forty-four
Continue Reading Pennsylvania District Court to Rule on Whether Street-Artist VARA Plaintiff Must Plead Facts Supporting “Recognized Stature”of the Work

Last year, two trade groups of New York-based art and antiques dealers brought claims against New York State officials in the federal court for the Southern District of New York, seeking to invalidate a 2014 New York law that opens dealers up to criminal penalties for buying and selling antique
Continue Reading Arts and Antiques Dealers Await Judge’s Ruling on Challenge to Strict New York State Ivory Law

On April 1, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari in a series of Ninth Circuit cases that found that the California Resale Royalty Act (“CRRA”) was partially preempted by section 301(a) of the 1976 Copyright Act. Under the CRRA, secondary-market sellers of fine art would be required to
Continue Reading Update: U.S. Supreme Court Denies Certiorari in California Resale Royalty Case

Robert Cenedella – a satirical American artist – has apparently decided not to replead his antitrust case against five major New York City museums. On December 19, 2018, Judge John G. Koeltl of the Southern District of New York dismissed Cenedella’s class action complaint, but gave him the opportunity
Continue Reading Failed Antitrust Case Against World-Class Museums or an Artist’s Veiled Publicity Stunt?

Above: Plaintiff Chuck Close.
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The Ninth Circuit recently issued its decision regarding the validity of the California Resale Royalty Act (“CRRA”) in three consolidated appeals: Close v. Sotheby’s, Inc., No. 16-56234, The Sam Francis Foundation v. Christie’s, Inc., No. 16-56235 and The Sam Francis Foundation v. eBay
Continue Reading Update: Ninth Circuit Holds That CRRA Is Preempted by “First Sale Doctrine”

On June 13, 2018, Judge Frederic Block of the Eastern District of New York issued an impassioned decision upholding the $6.75 million damage award he granted the aerosol artists of 5Pointz in February 2018. The court denied the defendants’ post-trial motion to grant a new trial or vacate the February
Continue Reading Update: “5Pointz” Artists Hold On to Win