U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | RE: A question of copyright

RE: A question of copyright

What is now called appropriation art is usually safe. Artists use, build on, evolve and quote from other art of all periods. I think the sticking point is when it's a straight copy and the user claims it as his/her own, as.... was it Jeff Koons? One of his cohort who had an exact replica (or as exact as possible) of a copyrighted photo, a current photo, titled "String of Puppies" carved as his own.... Presented WITHOUT permission or credit to the live photographer... it went to court, and he was judged guilty.... I think the upshot was that he gave one or more of the sculptures to the photographer, which of course, Koons being a "star" (evil star IMO), was presumably ample compensation.

However, my understanding of the printing proposed here is that it would be frankly an homage, it could even be titled "reprint of thus and such" -- so no deception is involved. Also, the use of earlier work is often done as "quotation," that is, parts or references are used... as in contemporary music -- what's it called--- "mixing" or "sampling"?

There's also the fact that when a prior work is *changed* it becomes freedom of expression, parody, quotation, fair use, whatever.... Photographs are often used in other art. When I was an illustrator I used a "scrap file" for reference.... Sometimes folks actually recognized my original (I liked famous photo portraits by Penn, Avedon & company from Vogue... that was before we all had cameras and could snap our own reference.) And perfectly legitimate, no law suit possible.

Modern printing of an old negative would almost certainly change it as well... I've several times printed images (including Persian art, and a photo of Isadora Duncan) from the NY Times in multicolor gum. They were recognizeable, but quite different (improved, if you ask me). And, among my favorites.


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