This seminar explains and illustrates the basics of copyright law in three major parts that follow the organization of Reid’s upcoming illustrated book, True Stories of Transformation + Infringement: Art + Copyright. The wellspring for the book and seminar are the colorful stories involving Andy Warhol, Prince, Roy Orbison, 2 Live Crew and Oscar Wilde told in copyright case law. Exhibits from the cases are often included for reference. Original artwork by your speaker, Deborah Reid, is shown throughout to translate legal concepts into visual images.
The subject matter of copyright is covered in the first part. The types of work eligible for copyright, the underlying requirements of originality and fixation and the quandary of the idea/expression dichotomy are discussed and explained.
In the second part, the rights that comprise a copyright are unpacked and defined. Joint works, compilations, derivative works, works for hire, assignments, licensing agreements and Creative Commons licenses are explained. Infringement and DMCA Take Down Notices are summarized. The third part provides an overview of the fair use doctrine and its relationship with First Amendment freedoms. Fair use cases regarding visual artists including Jeff Koons, Faith Ringgold and Annie Leibovitz will be surveyed. The arguments presented in the important fair use case of Cariou v. Prince will be presented for attendees’ evaluation.