Photographer Suing Andy Warhol's Estate Claims His Work Isn't "Transformative"

In a case that both sides argue is vital to the future of artists, the court will consider whether Warhol's iconic colorized images are protected from copyright claims by the fair use doctrine.
Prince -C ourtesy of the U.S. District Court/The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts

Anyone can create work like Andy Warhol’s in the digital age and it’s not protected by fair use, according to a photographer who’s suing the late pop artist’s estate for copyright infringement.

Warhol’s estate in April 2017 sued photographer Lynn Goldsmith, asking the court for a declaration that his 1984 paintings of Prince don’t violate her copyright in the photo from which they originated because, although the artist often used photographs as inspiration, his works were “entirely new creations.” She filed a counterclaim for copyright infringement a few months later.

Now both sides are asking the court to rule in their favor in dueling motions for summary judgment.

Goldsmith licensed the black-and-white version of her 1981 photo of Prince to Vanity Fair in 1984 “for use as artist reference for an illustration,” and claims it was for a one-time use. Warhol created 16 separate works from her image, and after he died his estate licensed one of them to the magazine for a 2016 special-edition cover.

Read more starting at ‘The photographer argues the court should grant her copyright claim on summary judgment’ at……

Photographer Suing Andy Warhol’s Estate Claims His Work Isn’t “Transformative”

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