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Center for Art Law Case Law Updates

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

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. v. Lynn Goldsmith and Lynn Goldsmith LTD, 1:17-cv-02532 (S.D.N.Y., April 7, 2017) "[To] Protect the work and Legacy" of Andy Warhol, his foundation brought a pre-emption action against a photographer claiming copyright in the photograph Warhol used to create a portrait of a late pop musician Prince on the theory of fair use. The complaint is available at http://www.courthousenews.com/warhol-foundation-seeks-pre-empt-copyright-claims/?mc_cid=b0e709ebfc&mc_eid=8a2eda70d8.

Anonymous v. Anonymous, 2017 NY Slip Op 02613 (N.Y., April 4, 2017) A husband commenced a matrimonial action on May 6, 2014, claiming separate ownership of tens of millions of dollars' worth of art, while his wife claims the art was jointly owned and that own four specified works of art purportedly worth a total of approximately $22 million. The parties had a prenuptial agreement, but it did not specifically address how the parties should divide their art collection upon dissolution of the marriage. The question presented was whether certain works of art purchased during the marriage were the husband's separate property or were jointly held. The court held that the fact that the invoice was in the husband's name alone was not the end of the inquiry: "We conclude that title to personalty cannot be determined by relying solely upon an invoice. In determining title to the artwork in question, all the facts and circumstances of the acquisition and indicia of ownership must also be considered." More at http://law.justia.com/cases/new-york/appellate-division-first-department/2017/305863-14.html.

Cohen v. G&M Realty, 13-CV-05612 (FB) (RLM) (E.D.N.Y. Mar. 31, 2017) Earlier in the year, the court ruled that the plaintiff artists in the high profile 5Pointz graffiti art mural case may go to trial, finding that the artists demonstrated they were harmed by the building's demolition under the Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA). In particular, Judge Block found that the question of "recognized stature" under VARA was clearly a factual one for the jury, which would assess the plaintiffs' expert's report and testimony at trial. The defendants' counterclaim for abuse of process were dismissed. The plaintiffs' separate claims for conversion, property damage, and intentional infliction of emotional distress were also dismissed. Opinion available at https://casetext.com/case/cohen-v-gm-realty-lp-2?mc_cid=b0e709ebfc&mc_eid=8a2eda70d8.

Court d'appel [CA] [regional court of appeal] (Versailles, 1e ch., March 24, 2017) Judge Alain PALAU ruled against Christie's auction house, invalidating its 2008 decision to transfer the burden to pay the resale royalty cost from the seller of an art work to the accepting buyer. It was after the sale of the Yves Saint Laurent art collection in the Grand Palais, Paris, in 2009, that the Comité Professionnel des Galeries d'Art (CPGA) and Syndicat National des Antiquaires (SNA) brought a complaint against Christie's shifting obligations to the buyer, claiming among other things that: Christie's was gaining a competitive advantage by seeking to charge buyers rather than sellers.

In March 2017, the Court d'Appel de Versailles ruled that according to the wording of article L 122-8 of the French Intellectual Property Code, the droit de suite should be paid by the vendor "without exception", and that the clause transferring the resale royalty cost to the buyer in the general condition of sales should be void and with no effect. Christie's France intends to appeal before the French civil Supreme Court. Decision is available at https://www.actualitesdudroit.fr/documents/fr/jp/j/ca/78646/2017/3/24/15_07800?mc_cid=b0e709ebfc&mc_eid=8a2eda70d8.

Foyt Jaglom v. Jaglom, 650580/2017 (N.Y., Feb. 2, 2017) This inheritance dispute involves heirs of the art of collector Simon M. Jaglom. His former daughter-in-law brought an action seeing to affect title to artworks consigned by Jaglom's executor. In her complaint, she alleged that the son of the collector consigned the artworks to the auction house in 1994, after the works were gifted to him, and that the remaining 15 artworks passed on to his heirs when he died in 1992. In 1994, Michael Jaglom, as executor of his father's will and co-owner of the gifted artworks, consigned them to the custody of Sotheby's in New York. The auction house supposedly kept the work in storage since that time without charging any storage fees. In 2015, Sotheby's informed the plaintiff that, because of her trustee position in the "Jaglom Family 2012 Art Trust", it intended to transfer custody of the works to a third-party storage facility.

Cipriani v. Kendrick Lamar Duckworth et al., 1:15-cv-04078 (S.D.N.Y Dec. 2016) This action for copyright infringement and related claims brought by Cipriani, the sole author, owner, and exclusive holder of copyrights in a photograph titled "Twins" ("Photograph"), arise from the defendants' unauthorized use of the Photograph in conjunction with the online video release and commercial promotion of a music recording titled "The Blacker the Berry", was voluntarily dismissed after the parties entered mediation.

Hayuk v. Starbucks Corporation, 1:15-cv-04887 (S.D.N.Y, Jan. 12, 2016) Hayuk, a Brooklyn muralist, was seeking an injunction against the ad campaign of Starbucks and its advertising agency 72andSunny Partners LLC, damages up to $150,000 per infringed-upon painting, and a share of the Mini Frappuccino profits. This occured after the advertising agency, despite the refusal of Hayuk, borrowed from her pieces to launch the Frappuccino campaign. It was ruled that the set of works were not substantially similar, even if they shared the use of overlapping colored rays, as "the elements fell into the unprotectible category of "raw materials" or ideas in the public domain". Memo and affirming order available at http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/new-york/nysdce/1:2015cv04887/443881/50/.

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.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 30, 2017 3:19 PM.

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