Saturday, July 06, 2019

More on the Warhol Prince Decision

Artnet's Sarah Cascone here.  Goldsmith says she will appeal.

Michael Madison wonders if there is a "third, less radical interpretation [in addition to the two I mentioned here], which relies on a hypothetical 'what would a reasonable person think?' standard vs a hypothetical 'any plausible reading/viewing is reasonable' standard?"

Rebecca Tushnet says "'may reasonably be perceived' has been the test (at least for parody) since Campbell--neither this judge nor the 2d Circuit made it up--and it makes sense for all forms of meaning-transformativeness, not just for the subcategory of parody, as both 2d and 9th have recognized."

She also thinks the case should have been decided on substantial similarity grounds, without ever having to get to fair use:  "this case illustrates ... that courts are more comfortable with fair use than they are with a true infringement inquiry (did the defendant copy too much protected material from the plaintiff?) when the real problem with the claim is that the defendant copied without taking very much, if any, protected material.  ... If we were really concerned that transformativeness has gone too far … then one way to deal with that problem would be to take infringement more seriously rather than using fair use as a clean-up tool."