CSUSA Media Library: Session Details

Session Name: Koons Wins One!: Photography, Visual Arts and Fair Use Revisted
MeetingType: Chapter Meeting
Date: 03/28/07
Description: Throughout the decade and a half since the Second Circuit ruled that artist Jeff Koons did not make fair use of a photograph he appropriated for his “String of Puppies,” artists who use other artists’ creations have labored under a cloud of threatened litigation. Now the Rogers v. Koons cloud has lifted: in Blanch v. Koons, the Second Circuit has ruled that Koons’ painting “Niagara” –- a collage of images taken from the world of mass-media and advertising –- made fair use of a freelancer’s fashion photograph. A victory for the appropriation art world -– or was it? Did the decision settle the law, or raise thorny issues at the core of fair use? When is art transformative, and when does it merely comment at the expense of other copyright creators? What is a reasonably likely market for a work that the plaintiff, like Blanch, has not actually exploited? Is this just another “stampede” of fair use factors that wrongly disregards the defendant’s prior conduct, substantial profit, and use of a large part of a creative work? How will this decision impact the right to make a derivative work?
Course Materials
Keywords: Appropriation Art, Art, Fair Use, Infringement, Photography