UPDATE: Supreme Court Agrees To Hear Fair Use Case Involving Warhol’s Prince Artworks
03/29/2022We wrote recently about the Warhol Foundation’s petition to the Supreme Court, asking the Court to review a case involving claims by photographer Lynn Goldsmith. Goldsmith sued over Warhol’s use of a photograph in creating a series of artworks, and the Foundation argued that Goldsmith’s claims should fail due to the fair use doctrine, which provides a defense to copyright infringement claims. A federal district court sided with the Foundation, but the Second Circuit reversed, and in the process issued an opinion that further complicated the already-complex landscape of fair use case law, especially as applied to artists whose creations incorporate, appropriate, reference, or otherwise make use of works by others.
On March 28, the Supreme Court announced it would grant certiorari, which means it will hear the Foundation’s appeal of the Second Circuit’s decision. The case will be argued during the Court’s fall term, which begins in October. Art-market stakeholders hope that the Supreme Court will provide some clarification and guidance to lower courts struggling with the fair use defense, particularly in the realm of visual art.
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