Thursday, May 29, 2014

Can you copyright nothing?

Brian Boucher on a performance art "spat."

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

"The creditors never had any rights to the Museum Art Collection or any expectation that such charitable property would be available to satisfy their debts."

"This is the ‘grubby’ reality to which the Financial Creditors must yield."

The Detroit bankruptcy proceeding marches on.  I've always felt the "no reliance" argument has been the strongest one in favor of keeping the art off limits to creditors.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Has there been a Gardner theft sighting?

The headlines today make it seem so.  But Nicholas O'Donnell says "read carefully, ... the story is nothing new at all, just a retelling of last year's 'news' released around the anniversary of the theft and a raft of conjecture."

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The DIA dispute is back in court today (UPDATED)

As usual, Mark Stryker is all over it.

UPDATE:  Stryker tweets, from inside the courtroom:  "Breaking: Judge Rhodes denies creditors' motion to get DIA documents and remove art from walls at DIA."

Monday, May 12, 2014

Is Detroit's art-for-pensions deal illegal? (UPDATED)

UPenn bankruptcy professor David Skeel says the answer is yes.

Meanwhile, one observer says "the city will probably end up back in Chapter 9 because they aren't fixing anything."

UPDATE:  Mark Stryker wrote about this in the Detroit Free Press last month.  Bottom line, as he put it on Twitter this morning, is that "other bankruptcy experts disagree w/ Skeel" (though he added:  "That said, Skeel's view will be heart of bond insurers courtroom arguments. Big questions for Judge Rhodes").

Thursday, May 08, 2014

A donor intent law school exam

The NYT:  Fight Over Guggenheim's Legacy Roils her Palazzo.

And how did the French get involved?  What's this doing in a Paris court?

"The Sotheby's decision upholding activist pills is a huge win for good corporate governance"

Says Professor Bainbridge, though he adds that "Sotheby's then caved by putting Loeb and a couple of his cronies on their board" and recommends, "for good discussions of why Sotheby's caved," Alison Frankel here and Steven Davidoff here.

He also points to another key practical lesson of the case: the importance of email hygiene.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Loeb-Sotheby's Settlement (UPDATED)

Details at the NYT here.

UPDATE:  Who won?  The Times declares it a "clear win" for Loeb.  The Art Market Monitor disagrees:  "[I]t is hard to credit [that] conclusion since he was offered a board seat and has basically wound up with … a board seat. ... The compromise blunts his three seats with an additional two giving Loeb little more in the way of power. Yes, Loeb will be allowed to increase his stake from under 10% to 15% but without a clear plan to increase revenues substantially, that increased stake may only be a gift to present shareholders who sell to him in the coming weeks."

"One winner from inequality — artists" (UPDATED)

Matthew Yglesias at Vox.

UPDATE:  A different take from Henry Farrell:  "I would furthermore speculate (and this is speculation, but, I think, grounded speculation) that these tendencies towards skew are going to be substantially accentuated by increased wealth inequality, as very rich people compete over a tiny pool of premier artistic prestige goods, dramatically driving up the prices for this pool and this pool alone, while leaving the middle and the tail of the distribution to languish and stagnate."