Sunday, July 19, 2009

Stamps, Sculpture and Free Expression; Stanford Center for Internet and Society, 7/15/09

Anthony Falzone via Stanford Center for Internet and Society; Stamps, Sculpture and Free Expression:

"We filed an amicus brief today in Gaylord v. U.S., a potentially important but little-noticed fair use case on appeal in the Federal Circuit. We filed it on behalf of the Andy Warhol Foundation, and several other amici, including the Warhol Museum, contemporary artists Barbara Kruger, Thomas Lawson, Jonathan Monk, and Allen Ruppersberg, and a variety of law professors who care about the extent to which copyright promotes and protects free expression.

One of the important questions the case presents is whether this stamp makes fair use of the statue that appears in it. The image you see is a photograph of a sculpture taken at dawn in a snowstorm. The sculpture itself is called The Column, and is part of the Korean War Veterans' Memorial in Washington DC. It features nineteen larger-than-life soldiers arranged in two columns, representing a platoon of soldiers on patrol in the Korean War. The Postal Service got permission to use the photograph that appears on the stamp, but not the column depicted in it, so the sculptor sued the Postal Service for infringing his copyrights in the sculpture.

One of the important questions this case presents is whether and to what extent an artists has the right to use existing imagery to create new artistic expression. We think fair use does and should protect this right, which is crucial to huge amounts of expression, including vast amounts of modern art. We submitted an amicus brief because we thought the Federal Circuit should hear the views of those who create, promote and defend that art."

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