May 19, 2023

Supreme Court Rules In Copyright Case Involving Portrait Of Prince

The Supreme Court ruled 7 to 2 that Andy Warhol was not allowed to create an image of Prince based on a prominent photographer's portrait of the musician. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, writing for the majority, stated that the photographer's original work was protected by copyright, even against famous artists. The decision limited the fair-use defense to copyright infringement in the realm of visual art. Justice Elena Kagan dissented, arguing that the ruling would stifle creativity and impede new art, music, and literature. The case centered on whether Warhol's alterations transformed the photograph into something new. The majority found that the purpose and commercial nature of the use favored the photographer. Here is the full story from the New York Times.

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