He borrowed her photo without permission to make a silk-screen.
Overturning an earlier decision that the Pop Artist’s reliance on the 1981 photo was “fair use” of the image, the court ruled that Warhol’s “appropriation” of Lynn Goldsmith’s photo of Prince constituted copyright infringement.
“Fair use” should allow an artist to borrow an image, without permission or payment, for purposes of self-expression; but the new court ruling insists an artist cannot do so.
I paint from life, but know many artists who paint every day from photos they’ve grabbed off the web.
Thanks to the court’s decision, they’re now liable for piracy.
Before the court’s ruling, copyright didn’t apply to an artist’s work when it “transformed” another.
Now it does.
Specifically, the ruling said an artist can only borrow freely when the new work can “reasonably be perceived as embodying an entirely distinct artistic purpose, one that conveys a ‘new meaning or message’ entirely separate from its source material.”
It cited a collage as an example of a piece that conveys a “new meaning or message.”