Thursday, August 02, 2012

Burning Down the Bus

Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento notes that a trial is under way over the destruction of a Burning Man art project.  As he points out, the Court already dismissed the artists' VARA claims on the ground that the work at issue was "applied art" (and thus excluded from VARA-protection) "because it was used and intended to be used as a mobile stage for performances."  They still have a common law conversion claim for the destruction of their property, though the Court noted on summary judgment that it's not so clear they owned it:  "the only documentation supporting [the artists'] claim of ownership is the receipt showing Cheffins' purchase of the bus in 2002"; there is "no proof of registration of insurance"; and their limited contact with the work "in the year before its destruction suggests possible abandonment."