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\u22A Dangerous Undertaking\u22: The Problem of Intentionalism and Promise of Expert Testimony in Appropriation Art Infringement Cases

By Monika Isia Jasiewicz


In May 2011, a federal district court issued a ruling that shocked the art world. In a copyright infringement action against prominent artist Richard Prince, Judge Deborah Batts of the Southern District of New York dispensed the art world equivalent of the death penalty: an injunction requiring that artworks be \u22deliver[ed] up for impounding, destruction, or other disposition.\u22 The condemned works-a series of Prince collages titled \u22Canal Zone\u22-contained photographs from Yes, Rasta, a book of portraits of Jamaican Rastafarians by the photographer Patrick Cariou. Prince had cut out images from the book and painted over them, combining them in his collages with other original and found images. The court held that by using images from Yes, Rasta, Prince infringed Cariou\u27s copyrights, and his work did not qualify for the fair use defense

Topics: Arts and Humanities, History, Law
Publisher: Yale Law School Legal Scholarship Repository
Year: 2015
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