Monday, July 14, 2008

"In recent years a number of advertising campaigns have seemed to draw their inspiration directly from high-profile works of contemporary art"

Very interesting article by Mia Fineman in yesterday's New York Times on advertisers "being inspired by" or, more precisely in some cases, "stealing" work by contemporary artists. I'm quoted as follows:

"Donn Zaretsky, a lawyer in New York who specializes in art law, is often approached by artists who perceive echoes of their own work in advertisements. 'It does seem like advertising people are pushing the envelope on this,' he said. 'They’re being more and more brazen in their borrowing. On the one hand they should be mining the art world for inspiration, and you would expect them to be referencing works that people are familiar with. But more and more they seem to be getting into the territory of blatant rip-offs.'

"The law governing the unauthorized use of copyrighted images and ideas, he said, is notoriously murky. 'Copyright law doesn’t protect ideas, it only protects expression. The question is, where do you draw the line? Is the agency being inspired by the idea? Or did they copy the artist’s expression?'"