Tuesday, October 06, 2015

"At the time of the shooting, Ramos was with a group of 10 artists working on the Oakland Super Heroes Mural Project."

"The series of six murals is being produced by ArtEsteem, the art-and-literacy arm of Attitudinal Healing Connection, a West Oakland group that seeks to stop violence by inspiring people with art and education."

An artist was shot and killed while working on site in Oakland.

"Maldonado was imprisoned at the end of last year for reportedly showing 'disrespect of the leaders of the revolution'"

artnet news:  Amnesty International Calls for Release of Cuban Street Artist.

"Once you know the story, his empty frames become a lot less empty than they appear."

Noah Charney on a piece currently installed on the High Line that deals with "the most frequently stolen artwork in history" -- the Ghent Altarpiece.

"The police said they were treating it as a suspicious death."

NYT:  Art Thief's Body Found in London Canal.

Daniel Mendelsohn tweets:  "'Suspicious'? What makes them think *that*?!"

Settlement in the Tuymans copyright suit

Gareth Harris has the story in The Art Newspaper.  Background here.

"The more important question is whether there’s a rational case for any prewar creative work to still be under copyright."

"The answer is no."

Economist Tim Harford on copyright incentives.

Can you hear me now?

NYT:  Ai Weiwei Returns to Beijing to Find Listening Devices in His Studio and Home.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

"But the most curious aspect of deaccessioning norms is their incoherence."

Brian Frye has a really interesting post on deaccessioning over at the Nonprofit Law Prof Blog.  He has some very generous things to say about my writings on the subject, building up to the following point:

"As any economist knows, incentives matter. So what are the incentives for deaccessioning norms? The art market depends on scarcity. For most works of authorship, scarcity is ensured by copyright. But the art world is unusual in that the scarcity of artworks is ensured by the fact that they are unique or artificially limited objects. In other words, the value of artworks is maintained by the fact that there is a limited number of works on the market. At least in part because a vast number of artworks are in the collection of museums, which are largely prevented from selling those works by deaccessioning norms. How do museums obtain those works? Often by donation, typically from the very people who buy and sell those works for profit. The people who donate works to museums have a vested interest in ensuring that donated works stay out of the market, in order to ensure scarcity."

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

What culture? What public?

I contributed to an online debate at the website of the Colección Cisneros on the question "Does the public have a right to culture?"  Sergio Munoz Sarmiento kicks off the discussion here.  My response is here.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

More monkey business (UPDATED)

Apparently a lawsuit has been filed over the famous monkey selfie ... on behalf of the monkey.  I kid you not.  Slate's Jordan Weissmann gets this one right, I think:

"First, it's obvious that copyright is a sideshow here. The lawsuit is part of a thus-far-unsuccessful line of 'animal personhood' cases, which have tried to claim that various fauna deserve rights similar to homo sapiens. These are, suffice to say, a bit controversial, seeing as they would upend everything from scientific testing on animals to, possibly, the existence of zoos.  ...  Even if you are the sort who believes that animals should be entitled to some human rights, however, extending that idea to intellectual property law is patently idiotic. Copyrights exist in order to encourage more artists, writers, and musicians to create new work by making sure they can earn money off of their labor. ... Giving a macaque a copyright, meanwhile, does not promote jack. You cannot incentivize a monkey to spend more time behind a camera by dangling out the promise of financial compensation. ... OK. So, PETA filed a silly lawsuit. In other news, it was warm in Florida last week, and Starbucks is doing a brisk business in pumpkin spice lattes. The reason this suit is particularly galling, though, is that, in this case, the group has sued not a massive corporation with a significant legal budget, but a random nature photographer, who will likely have to drag himself into court and quite possibly spend some of his own money to defend this ludicrous claim, at least until a judge has the decent sense to dismiss it."

UPDATE:  Howard Wasserman at PrawfsBlawg:  "The lawsuit raises an interesting (although I believe easy) question of statutory standing and the zone of interests of the copyright laws--namely, whether a non-human enjoys rights under the statute. This article explains why the answer should be no."

"A French appeals court on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit by the descendants of the art collector Peggy Guggenheim ..."

". . . who had sought to gain more control over how her Venice museum is managed by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in New York."

Good question

Nate Harrison:  What Is Transformative?

"In the high-stakes art world, a fear of lawsuits is putting a muzzle on authenticators."

I'm quoted in this Fortune magazine story on authentication.