Thursday, December 19, 2013

When Pigskin and Paint Collide in the Courts

The Hollywood Reporter's entertainment law blog "ESQ." fills us in: the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday protected the National Football League and the Baltimore Ravens from an artist who had once convinced a judge that the team had infringed upon his design to create the Ravens' old logo.

Friday, December 13, 2013

All is Fair in Love and Art?


An odd love triangle among three glamours legends: Ryan O'Neal, Farrah Fawcett, and Andy Warhol.  The issue: who owns a $12 million pop art portrait when the relationship is on-and-off, and the University of Texas claims it was gifted to them in a trust?  O'Neal and the school are duking it out in a jury trial where a rotating cast of appraisers, nurses, ex-lovers and academicians are testifying.  Who needs Hollywood when we've got drama like this in the court?!  Get your art law gossip fix here.


Friday, November 8, 2013

Looters Ahead

Otto Dix painting, sourced from WikiMedia

The trove of Nazi-era art of previously unregistered works by Marc Chagall, Otto Dix, Max Liberman and Henri Matisse found in an apartment last March has presented some interesting legal questions.  There are a few layers of shady, potentially criminal, activity at work here, the initial Nazi-looting and then the dealings of the art dealer whose son's apartment held the work.  Authorities and journalists have questioned the methods by which Hildebrand Gurlitt, a German art dealer, acquired the paintings throughout the 1930-40s.  Interesting twists are ahead as authorities attempt to determine who are the rightful owners of the works.

Banksy's month long residency is over but the shenanigans and ensuing media coverage continues.  This time, three men were arrested after removing the "Banksy!" balloons from a building in LIC.  The piece was impounded and will stay in police custody until someone claims the balloon, legally.  Check out this article in which a bunch of art dealers and "Banksy specialists" try to convince the building owner to give it to them to sell.  The quotes from a deputy officer are particularly entertaining, at one point saying, "[w]e don't have it as art...[w]e have it as balloons."  I guess that puts an end to the ongoing dispute over whether Banksy has any artistic merit.  Not.

In 2010, Key West City Commission passed an ordinance requiring 1% of new and re-developments over $500,000 and $100,000, respectively, be put towards a fund for public art projects.  Passage of the ordinance coincided with the stagnation of the building market so very few funds were raised but things are looking up as there are a few substantial projects in the city's pipeline.  The Commission has tweaked the ordinance so that developers are now able to choose the artist their contributions will fun. While part of me thinks this change defeats the purpose of the ordinance, my better half believes its a positive step in the right direction.

A Qatari poet was jailed for two years in solitary confinement for reciting a poem in support of the Arab uprisings on YouTube.  The poet was found guilty of "incitement to overthrow the Emir" last month and sentenced to life in prison.  Due to "irregularities" in the trail, the Criminal Court in Doha reduced his sentence to 15 years.  Upon the government's attempt to reinstate the life sentence, the Court upheld the 15 year sentence.  For shame.




Friday, November 1, 2013

Panelists, Symposiums, and CLE Credits, oh MY....

 
 
The Fashion Institute of Technology will host a panel on the intersection of technology and artistic endeavors on November 12th at 7 pm.  The panelist, all well known for their work in the digital realm, will discuss the challenges associated with increased access (ahem, Instagram).  Check out the official announcement here.  I am sure it will be a lively discussion, hope to see you there! 

Also, don't forget to register for the 22nd Annual Fordham IPLJ symposium on November 8th.  The panelist and speakers will cover a wide range of topics.  More details and online registration here.



Update: Columbia Law School is also hosting a symposium that is free for students (!) for on November 8th called, "Secondary Liability for Trademark Infringement on the Internet."  Not as sexy sounding but sure to be a great event as well.  Register here.  Fordham students, I hope you will not be forsaking the IPLJ symposium for this one.  No pressure.  

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

In which I make enemies with the 5Pointz Collective...

                                                        Image courtesy of John Roleke at About.com

The street art collective 5Pointz won a stay of execution (restraining order) freezing the building owner's demolition preparations.  It's all over the news: herehere, here, etc.  Lawyers for the collective centered their arguments on a clause from the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 (VARA), which allows certain visual artists to prevent the unauthorized destruction or alteration of works installed in buildings.  I'm not a proponent of high-rise, luxury apartment buildings.  The proposed building is one of the last things LIC needs, other than more hipsters.  However, I am not entirely sure what the collective hopes to achieve through this suit.  In this article, Ms. Chanes, one of the attorneys for the collective, called Judge Block "a judge for the 99 percent."  Last I checked, OWS is on an indefinite hiatus.  The victory is a far cry from the injunction that the collective hoped for and likely to be short lived.  Furthermore, the whole endeavor seems like a futile battle against the implicitly ephemeral nature of street art.  Last time I visited 5Pointz, I watched the building serve as a backdrop for a music video, variety of fashion-centric photo shoots and quasi-gallery opening.  We get it, the place is cool but the hype is entirely counter to the ethos that spurred the street art movement.  Shouldn't these artists, who pride themselves on their ability to make art in unlikely places, while flouting institutionalized notions of "art," move on?  That the building is called a "mecca" is unsettling to me and fundamentally inconsistent with the movement it represents.


Monday, September 9, 2013

No one gets between me and my...tattoo artist.

                                                    Image courtesy of Design Taxi

The Washington D.C. Department of Health proposed a 24-hour waiting period for people seeking a tattoo or body piercing.  Check out the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking here.  In line with agency notice and comment requirements, the public has 30 days to comment on the proposal before it could become a final regulation.  My gut reaction is that it's an overreach with a whiff of nanny state mentality.  Doesn't D.C. have more important things to worry about than my improperly translated tramp stamp (sorry, lower back tattoo)?

Check out the contract that convinced Antonin Dvorak to relocate to New York from Prague.

Despite the substantial challenges posed to artists and journalists who travel to Guantanamo Bay, a few have been granted access over the years.  The works of some artists will available to the public this fall.

With turmoil and subsequent looting increasing, Egyptians are banding together via social media in an effort to protect their archeological sites, monuments and museums.

Exorbitant executive pay extends to private foundations.  Not exactly a surprise.  However, accusations of mismanagement by foundations tied to artists' estates are increasing and pretty shocking