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Friday, October 17, 2008

Memo to Wade Kavanaugh and Stephen Nguyen

posted by on October 17 at 11:02 AM

The Art Law Blog says those two artists got bad advice from their lawyer, or misunderstood the advice they got, on this case involving Anthropologie. For future reference, let us all know the following:

There’s absolutely no distinction for copyright purposes between works created and shown in a commercial gallery and works created and shown in nonprofit spaces (like, say, museums).

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Well, duh. Is this the same copyright lawyer who advised Koons he could rip off someone's photograph of a bunch of puppies for one of his made-to-order sculptures?

Posted by Toe Tag | October 17, 2008 11:27 AM

Memo to Graves: Who fucking cares about butcher paper displays?

Posted by Bellevue Ave | October 17, 2008 11:30 AM

Memo to anyone bothering to take BA seriously: Don't. And DNFTT.

Posted by DNFTT | October 17, 2008 11:44 AM

There is a striking resemblance, but are the artist claiming that ANY use of construction paper to resemble terrain to be under their copyright? I could see the use of patent law, but copyright seem a bit of a stretch.

Would the first artist to use oil-based paints to, say paint sailboats, be able to obtain a copyright to forbid other artists from using oil-based paints to paint sailboats?

Anthropologie did shamelessly rip of the idea, and they should have acknowledged the inspiration. It's bad form not to. But that doesn't mean that the person who came up with the original idea should be able to prevent others from taking that idea somewhere else. They copied a method, not a work.

Posted by Rod | October 17, 2008 11:46 AM

@4 As I noted in the original post, both works are unimpressive and ugly as sin (I paraphrase myself), but to say that the first work is a wholly inspired glimpse of original genius to the point that nobody else on Earth could independently come up with the idea of using brown cardboard on a wall to mimic earth formations? I don't think so.

There's nothing that one person can create on their own that another person somewhere else can't also create on their own, especially if skill and talent aren't important to the outcome. Anthropologie's designers might very well have been inspired by the first work, but they also might very well have not been. I find the latter possiblity very easy to believe, as the idea itself is not in the least interesting enough to be unique. Anybody on a budget with the same idea would have likely ended up with the same result.

Posted by whatevernevermind | October 17, 2008 11:59 AM

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