Monday, August 21, 2017

Jeff Koons and Copying

How Jeff Koons, 8 Puppies and a Lawsuit Changed Artists’ Right to Copy

Installation view of Jeff Koons, String of Puppies, 1988, at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Photo by Amaury Laporte, via Flickr.
In 1988, Jeff Koons unveiled his “Banality” series. The exhibitions consisted of a series of porcelain and wooden sculptures based on photographs and other archetypal objects.

Boy was he sued!

For the art world, the cases produced by the “Banality” shows resulted in judgments that have helped to define when artists can and cannot use the work of others for their own pieces, making a lasting impact on copyright law.

The “Banality” shows spurred five lawsuits, some decades after the original exhibit. One is pending today, almost 30 years after the show, while another settled out of court. Koons lost the remaining three, with courts finding him liable for copyright infringement and rejecting his fair use defense: that he was parodying the source material.

Read this article for more information.

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