« Music Licensing Update | Main | Week in Review September 28- October 9, 2015 »

Center for Art Law Case Updates



The following case selection first appeared in this week's Center for Art Law newsletter:

Simcor LLC v. Mahama, 2:15-cv-4539 (C.D. Cal. June 15, 2015) -- After discovering unknown Ghanian artist Ibrahim Mahama, plaintiffs Stefan Simchowitz and Jonathan Ellis King helped to build the young artist a studio and reputation. Mahama then contracted to create works exclusively for the plaintiffs to display and sell. According to Simchowitz and King, Mahama breached this agreement by selling 20 similar works to an unnamed collector and by disclaiming authorship of the 294 signed, commissioned works, reportedly because he was dissatisfied with the quality of the finished products. The plaintiffs have sued to recover $4.45 million from Mahama, the estimated value of the 267 unsold works in their possession.

Building Industry Association - Bay Area v. Oakland, 3:2015cv03392 (N.D. Cal. July 23, 2015) -- A developers' industry group has filed suit against the City of Oakland, alleging that the City's Percentage for Art ordinance violates the U.S. Constitution. The ordinance was passed in February and requires that 1% of the budgets for non-residential construction projects and 0.5% of the budgets for residential projects be spent on art. Among other arguments, the plaintiffs claim that this amounts to unlawful compulsion of speech in violation of the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.

Fontes v. Autocom Networks, Inc., C 15-02044 CRB (N.D. Cal. 2015) -- Dan Fontes' mural of Lake Merritt had been locally famous since it was painted on the side of an Oakland building in 1987. Fontes filed suit against the building's current and former owners after the current tenant, a Nissan dealership, whitewashed the mural, which had already been damaged by graffiti. Fontes is seeking $400,000, arguing that VARA requires building owners to give 90 days notice of their intent to remove an artist's work from their property.

Honolulu Art Museum v. Greene, Civil No. 15-1-1515-07 ECN (HI Cir. 1st, Aug. 28, 2015) -- The Honolulu Art Museum has filed suit against 80 year old art collector Joel A. Greene for $880,000, alleging that Greene failed to provide adequate provenance for five Southeast Asian works of art that he donated in exchange for quarterly payments of $80,000 for the duration of his life. Suspicions about the works, worth $1.275 million, first arose in 2011, after the Department of Homeland Security seized seven works from the museum that had originated from Asian art smuggler Subhash Kapoor.

Committee to Save Cooper Union v. Bd. of Trustees of the Cooper Union, No. 0155185-2014 (N.Y. Sup. 2015) -- Cooper Union has agreed to settle a 2014 lawsuit filed by a group of faculty and alumni to restore the school's 155-year-old tuition-free model. The settlement, pending review by the New York Supreme Court, would create a "Free Education Committee" tasked with developing a plan to return to the no-tuition system. The art, design and engineering college will also add alumni-elected members and two students to its board of trustees.

The Center for Art Law strives to create a coherent community for all those interested in law and the arts. Positioned as a centralized resource for art and cultural heritage law, it serves as a portal to connect artists and students, academics and legal practitioners, collectors and dealers, government officials and others in the field. In addition to the weekly newsletter (http://cardozo.us2.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=78692bfa901c588ea1fe5e801&id=022731d685), the Center for Art Law subscribers receive updates about art and law-related topics through its popular art law blog (http://itsartlaw.com/blog/)and calendar of events (http://itsartlaw.com/events/). The Center for Art Law welcomes inquiries and announcements from firms, universities and student organizations about recent publications, pending cases, upcoming events, current research and job and externship opportunities. To contact the Center for Art Law, visit our website at: www.itsartlaw.com or write to itsartlaw@gmail.com.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

About

This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 8, 2015 6:16 PM.

The previous post in this blog was Music Licensing Update.

The next post in this blog is Week in Review September 28- October 9, 2015.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.