Friday, August 19, 2016

Still monkeying around

The Washington Post reported last week that, in the Monkey Selfie appeal, a "prominent anthropologist at the University of Notre Dame" has filed an amicus brief arguing that "[t]here is no dispute that Naruto created the images in question. Naruto is, therefore, the author."  That misses the point, I think.  That's a scientific conclusion.  The question in the case is a legal one:  does it make sense to consider animals to be authors in order to achieve the purposes of the Copyright Act?  On that question, Mike Masnick and Jordan Weissmann have the better of the argument.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

"And so now, Von Saher will likely head to the Ninth Circuit for the third time, and the case will pass into its second decade."

I don't generally cover a lot of restitution stuff, but I did write a piece for the Journal of Art Crime on the Norton Simon-Von Saher case a few years back.  Nicholas O'Donnell reports that the museum recently won a "stunning" victory on summary judgment.

Deja vu all over again

The Art Newspaper reports that the Artist Pension Trust has made its first distributions to participants.  That's nice, but it's also at least the third time in the last six months that I've read this story.  Here's the New York Times back in March.  Here's ARTNEWS in June.  Some background here.

Lawsuit Over Koons Gazing Ball Sculpture

Stories by Dan Duray here and Brian Boucher here.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

"What Happened on the Last Day of Peter Doig’s Ridiculous Trial"

artnet's Dushko Petrovich has you covered.  Another report here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

"Those fateful seconds, however, have resulted in what Doig called 'thousands of hours' of wasted working time and stress."

I was away last week, but the big art law story continues to be what artnet news rightly calls the "bizarre" authentication trial against Peter Doig.  You can read their account here.  Background here.  Deborah Solomon says the case "amounts to artist harassment."

That seems clearly true, but, to my mind, the lesson of the case is that anytime anyone (including the artist who supposedly made it) denies the authenticity of a work of art, they run the risk of incurring thousands of hours of wasted working time and stress ... not to mention who knows how much in legal fees.

The trial was scheduled to resume today.  I'll post further updates as they appear.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Does VARA need to be updated?

I'm quoted in this piece on the subject in the Observer.