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Center for Art Law Case Law Updates

The following case selection first appeared in the Center for Art Law newsletter:

Pape v. LG Electronics USA Inc., 17-cv-04925 (S.D.N.Y., July 18, 2017) Paula Pape, daughter of late Brazilian artist Lygia Pape, brought suit against LG Electronics, Inc. on the premise that the Seoul-based electronics company is using images of her mother's 2003 sculpture Tteia 1, C in the packaging and promotion of its new product, the K20 V mobile phone. The cultural institution responsible for managing the reproduction rights of Lygia Pape's artwork had denied LG's request to use images of the artist's work multiple times. Paula Pape alleges that, despite these rejections, LG went forth with its original advertising campaign plan and used the images without permission. This case comes at an interesting time: a retrospective spanning five decades of the artist's career at the forefront of Brazilian modernism just closed at the Met Breuer.

Noland v. Michael Janssen Gallery Pte., Ltd et al, 1:17-cv-05452 (S.D.N.Y, July 18, 2017). Artist Cady Noland filed suit for copyright infringement and violation of the Visual Artists' Rights Act against a group of dealers, collectors, and galleries. Noland claims that the defendants were involved in the decision to hire a conservator to refurbish her work Log Cabin (1990), without consulting her. She alleges that the refurbishment carried out by the defendants exceeded that which is considered a normal restoration. Noland argues that because the conservator severely altered Log Cabin--by replacing the original wood that had rotted with new, protected wood--the work now stands as a copy of the original work. In recent years, Noland has received much attention for her sensitivity with regard to restoration, and has gone as far as to disavow artworks. In the current suit, Noland is seeking both the destruction of Log Cabin, as she believes it no longer represents a genuine product of her creation, and that the defendants cease circulating images of the work.

Tierney et al v. Camuto Consulting, Inc. et al., 2:17-cv-04936 (C.D.Cal., July 5, 2017). Street artists Joseph Tierney, Cary Patraglia, Spencer Valdez, and Keith Rowland brought suit against fashion designer Vince Camuto for using their work in his Spring/Summer 2017 ad campaign without seeking the artists' permission (http://www.thefashionlaw.com/home/graffiti-artists-are-increasingly-lawyering-up-to-fight-fashion-copycats?mc_cid=ed6f0f25a5&mc_eid=8a2eda70d8). This copyright infringement suit was fueled by the fact that, beginning in February 2017, Camuto's ad campaign featuring the artwork was displayed on a variety of platforms -- social media, news media, both Vince Camuto and department store websites, and within Vince Camuto stores. Tierney, Patraglia, Valdez, and Rowland seek reputational, future, and punitive damages. This case is one of several others centering around retailers' improper usage of graffiti artists' public murals.

Berkowitz, et al., v. Christie's, 652549/2017 (Sup. NY, May 11, 2017) Co-trustees of the Southern Trust brought action against Christie's, alleging that the auction house, entrusted with the sale of Elizabeth Taylor's jewelry, violated terms of the consignment agreement as well as breached its fiduciary duty when it rescinded the sale of the so-called Taj Mahal diamond. Complaint available at https://www.courthousenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/5-11-liz-taylor.pdf?mc_cid=ed6f0f25a5&mc_eid=8a2eda70d8.

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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