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  • Writer's pictureNancy C. Prager

"Fair" Use and Andy Warhol Foundation v Lynn Goldsmith

Earlier this week I spoke with a professional photographer about a big project on which they are embarking.

I mentioned that I was nervously awaiting the decision in the Andy Warhol Foundation v Lynn Goldsmith matter.

My client said how helpful Ms. Goldsmith had been to them in their career, and was shocked that the Warhol Foundation did not just pay a licensing fee to her for the use of the photograph.

I agreed.

I found it shocking that the AWF not only failed to pay a license fee but also claimed the use of Ms. Goldsmith's underlying photograph was "fair use."

I was terribly worried that the SCOTUS would find Warhol's use of Lynn Goldsmith's iconic photograph of Prince transformative... and thus essentially kill copyright.

Grateful for the thoughtful and nuanced decision from the Court that fair use remains an objective standard but in this instance Warhol's use does not qualify as fair.

Also shout out to my Wake Forest University School of Law Professor Simone Rose for being right all those years ago when she said that I would be dealing with questions of fair use and copyright throughout my career.

What do you think?

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