The exclusive legal right, given to an originator or an assignee to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material, and to authorize others to do the same.

On December 27, 2020, as part of the omnibus spending and COVID-19 relief bill (the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021), President Trump signed into law the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020 (the CASE Act of 2020), which establishes a small-claims tribunal within the U.S. Copyright Office to adjudicate
Continue Reading COVID-19 Relief Legislation Includes the CASE Act of 2020, Establishing a Small-Claims Tribunal Within the U.S. Copyright Office

On November 24, 2020, parties to the 5Pointz litigation filed a Stipulated Settlement Agreement Resolving Plaintiffs’ Motion for Attorneys’ Fees and Costs (the “Agreement”), under which the defendant real estate developers agreed to pay over $2 million in attorneys’ fees and court costs to counsel for the aerosol artists of
Continue Reading Update: Attorneys Representing Artists in 5Pointz Litigation to Receive Over $2 Million in Attorneys’ Fees

On November 2, 2020, Judge Allyne Ross of the Eastern District of New York dismissed copyright claims brought by Danish photographer Michael Barrett Boesen against a sports website for its use of an Instagram post by former top-ranked tennis star Caroline Wozniacki that itself used a photograph by Boesen.[1]
Continue Reading Defendant Prevails on “Fair Use” of Embedded Instagram Post

This month, in Cohen v. G&M Realty L.P., the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari to Jerry Wolkoff’s GM Realty, which had urged the Court to strike down certain “unconstitutionally vague statutory provision[s]” of the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 (“VARA”) on the basis that they leave “property owners
Continue Reading Update: Certiorari Denied in 5Pointz Appeal

Last month, in the latest chapter of the ongoing legal saga arising from the whitewashing of “5Pointz,” the former aerosol-art mecca located in Queens, New York, the Second Circuit granted defendants’ motion to stay issuance of its appellate mandate pending defendants’ petition for a writ of certiorari in
Continue Reading 5Pointz Litigation SCOTUS-Bound?

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

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

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