Posted inNews

Copyright Laws Are a-Changin’ (Maybe) in the US and EU

The arena of copyright is a global morass of collaboration, appropriation, and theft. Rights management is a nightmare for artists and a cash machine for the legal profession, but two recent developments, one in the United States and the other in the European Union, aim, respectively, to expand the scope of royalties and streamline process by which rights and permissions are transacted.

Posted inNews

Totally Uncool Jokers: Barbara Kruger’s Conceptual Comeback to Supreme Lawsuit

Earlier this month, Complex covered Supreme’s hitting Leah McSweeney of clothing line Married to the MOB with a $10 million lawsuit for copyright infringement, as McSweeney did a parody of the streetwear label’s logo as “Supreme Bitch.” Rightly, Complex wondered what the conceptual artist who inspired the logo in the first place thought about it, namely Barbara Kruger with her red and white sans serif text work. Here’s her response.

Posted inOpinion

UK’s New “Instagram Act” Stretches Copyright to Its Breaking Point

The UK has passed a new act that has photographers and other creators worried about maintaining ownership of their images. The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act theoretically aims to make it easier for companies to publish orphan works, which are images and other content whose author or copyright can’t be identified. But whereas in the past, orphan works were often out-of-print books and historical unattributed photos, today millions of images are quickly orphaned online, as they move from Instagram to Twitter to Facebook to Tumblr without attribution along the way.

Posted inArt

Richard Prince: Back in Black!

Wednesday night, a decision by a three-judge appellate court panel marked a turnaround in the closely watched copyright infringement case Cariou v. Prince, pitting photographer Patrick Cariou against art star Richard Prince. Hyperallergic consults intellectual property expert Peter Friedman on the new outcome, with further exclusive commentary from Cariou’s attorney.

Posted inOpinion

Will the UK’s New Design Copyright Law Kill Innovation?

Patrick Cariou’s lawsuit against artist Richard Prince for wrongfully appropriating his photographs of Rastafarians into new artworks provided a benchmark for the role of copyright in contemporary art, though the case is still being debated in appeals. But how do those same issues impact the world of design, where knockoffs of iconic designs are omnipresent and it’s even more difficult to tell when inspiration becomes appropriation, and appropriation becomes infringement? Later this year, the British government plans on extending the copyright term for design, stretching the protected period from 25 years from when the creation was first marketed to 70 years after the death of the object’s creator. Could that policy impact the creative dynamism of design in the U.K.?