“After such consideration, we emphatically reject AWF’s assertion that Google ‘comprehensively refutes the panel’s reasoning.'”

The Second Circuit stands by its Warhol-Goldsmith fair use decision, even after Google v. Oracle. The amended decision is here.

They respond to the Blake Gopnik view in this way:

"Just as AWF misreads the fact- and context-specific finding of fair use in Google as dictating a result in the very different context before us, it misreads our opinion as 'effectively outlawing' an entire 'genre' of art 'widely viewed as one of the great artistic innovations of the modern era.' ... As any fair reading of our opinion shows, we do not 'outlaw' any form of artistic expression, nor do we denigrate any artistic genre; as we explicitly state, it is not the function of judges to decide the meaning and value of art, still less to 'outlaw' types of art.

"We merely insist that, just as artists must pay for their paint, canvas, neon tubes, marble, film, or digital cameras, if they choose to incorporate the existing copyrighted expression of other artists in ways that draw their purpose and character from that work (as by using a copyrighted portrait of a person to create another portrait of the same person, recognizably derived from the copyrighted portrait, so that someone seeking a portrait of that person might interchangeably use either one), they must pay for that material as well. ... The issue here does not pit novel forms of art against philistine censorship, but rather involves a conflict between artists each seeking to profit from his or her own creative efforts. Copyright law does not provide either side with absolute trumps based on simplistic formulas. Rather, it requires a contextual balancing based on principles that will lead to close calls in particular cases."

But if there is a genre of art in which artists incorporate the existing copyrighted expression of other artists in ways that draw their purpose and character from that work (as by using a copyrighted portrait of a person to create another portrait of the same person, recognizably derived from the copyrighted portrait), hasn't that genre now been outlawed in the Second Circuit?

Do we now just fight about whether the appropriated art in a given case has been incorporated "in ways that draw their purpose and character" from that work (whatever that means) or, instead, in other ways?

As someone asked when the original decision came down, aren't we still, basically, in the dark?

Comments are closed.

Sign up for the DADA Newsletter