OCTOBER 23, 2013 WARHOL AND RAUSCHENBERG FOUNDATIONS URGE COURT TO TAKE A BROAD VIEW OF FAIR USE WHEN JUDGING APPROPRIATION ART
Michael Straus, Chair, (205) 933-7000
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. announced that it has filed a motion in federal court today together with the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation seeking leave to appear as amici curiae in the ongoing litigation between Richard Prince and Patrick Cariou. A copy of the brief may be downloaded here. The Foundations’ positions in the brief also carry the support of twenty-nine leading museums and other arts organizations around the country, as set forth in their letter annexed to the brief.
The case is currently before the trial court on remand for the Court to determine whether five paintings by Mr. Prince impermissibly infringe on copyrights held by Mr. Cariou with respect to photographs taken by him for a book entitled Yes, Rasta; or whether Mr. Prince’s use of any of those photographs is a form of artistic expression protected under First Amendment principles reflected in the “fair use” doctrine. The position of the Warhol and Rauschenberg Foundations is that the Court is not limited in making this determination to a purely visual comparison of the works. Rather, we have urged the Court to consider expert and other submissions not only as to any visually apparent differences between the works, but also as to any newness of expression, meaning, or message that may arise by reference to the art-historical or other context for Mr. Prince’s works.