Where Have I Seen That Before?

April 22, 2011

Controversial “appropriation” artist Richard Prince suffered a loss in federal court (S.D.N.Y.) in March. The court rejected his “fair use” argument for reproducing, in virtually whole part, 28 images from photographer Patrick Cariou’s Rastafarian series “Yes, Rasta” for his own “Canal Zone” paintings. Finding no “transformative comment” on the original works, the court found the paintings infringed Cariou’s copyrights, and granted him summary judgment . (Cariou v. Prince, 2011 WL 1044915). Prince has appealed to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. The appellate docket is available on Westlaw and WestlawNext. Just enter docket number “11-1197” in the search template for the Westlaw database DOCK-CTA2 or the Second Circuit Court of Appeals Dockets content page on WestlawNext.

Other “Appropriation” Research References

Fair Use KeyNumber: To produce a list of other “fair use” cases on Westlaw and WestlawNext, search West Key Number 99k53.2.

Patry on Copyright: See PATRYCOPY § 10:100, Specific Types of Uses-Appropriation Art

As Judge Posner and Professor Landes observed: “From the perspective of copyright law the very term “Appropriation Art” is a provocation; “appropriation” of a copyrighted works connotes stealing.”