Attorney Article

Center for Art Law Publishes Farmer, Leitner and Maharaj on Warhol v. Goldsmith SCOTUS Oral Arguments

Center for Art Law

October 22, 2022

Jana Farmer (Partner-White Plains, NY), Leia Leitner (Associate-Orlando) and Meenka Maharaj (Associate-NY) co-authored “Appropriation Art on Trial: Oral Arguments before the Supreme Court in Warhol v. Goldsmith,” published by the Center for Art Law on October 22, 2022. The article analyzes oral arguments before the Supreme Court revisiting the scope and importance of “transformative use” within the test set forth in the Copyright Act. The second circuit found Warhol’s use of a photograph taken by Lynn Goldsmith in 1981 was not transformative and had not “imbued the original artwork with a new meaning and message.” Oral arguments on behalf of the Andy Warhol Foundation, on behalf of Lynn Goldsmith, and those presented by the United States government are all critiqued, followed by a final analysis. The authors conclude, “Even if this Supreme Court looks to precedent in making their determination, the questions posed by the bench indicate a concern for expanding the transformative use standard and an interest in limiting its scope.” Jana, Leia and Meenka recognize this decision as likely to have significant consequences on creators and those whose work is copied or used as a foundation for a derivative work.

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