‘Monkey Selfies’ bring IP law into question in San Francisco

Photographer Donald Graham might be having a tough time enforcing his copyright as we reported on Tuesday (5 January), but a 6 year old macaque monkey is having an even tougher time protecting his work in a US court.

Yesterday (6 January), a federal judge in San Francisco declined to recognise Naruto the monkey’s intellectual property rights over a series of ‘selfie’ photographs he snapped in 2011. US district Judge William Orrick had been asked by lawyers from People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to award Naruto monetary damages for copyright infringement by British wildlife photographer David Slater.  Continue reading

Will Prince reign supreme once again over US copyright law?

Has appropriation artist and agent provocateur Richard Prince finally crossed the line between fair use and copyright infringement?

One artist is prepared to fight tooth and nail to prove he has. Outraged by Prince’s unauthorised use of his work, photographer Donald Graham filed a complaint against Prince, Gagosian Gallery who represents him and Larry Gagosian, the gallery’s owner,  in New York federal court last month (30 December 2015). Continue reading

Think you know Britain well? Become an art detective for Tate

The Tate has put out a plea for help. Can you help their archivists identify the locations in artist John Piper’s photographs?

Piper, born in 1903, was a leading artist of the mid-20th century. Over his lifetime he took thousands of photographs across the British Isles. He originally began taking the photographs when he worked with John Betjeman on the Shell County Guides, capturing shots of ruined abbeys, churches, old shop fronts and country inns, often fascinated by remote or forgotten places. Later in his life he would paint these sights too, capturing a world on the cusp of change. Continue reading

Instagram updates its image guidelines – photos of nudity in paintings and sculptures are now OK

In short, the photo and video sharing app says be respectful: no nudity, no spam, no law-breaking. Although not a dramatic change to previous guidelines, the overhaul now includes more details and has adopted a tougher tone. Before, guidelines asked users to be polite and respectful. The revised version is much longer and specifies that “serious threats of harm to public and personal safely aren’t allowed.”   Continue reading

Style Icon Rihanna’s Umbrella Catches Topshop in the Shade

In a recent case, Rihanna objected to the UK sales by Topshop of tank tops bearing a photograph of her. English law has never developed to give celebrities rights in their own image so Rihanna’s case was that a significant number of purchasers would believe she had endorsed these t-shirts when she had not. Rihanna won on this basis, of Topshop having “passed off” on her goodwill, in the High Court and, following Topshop’s appeal, again in the Court of Appeal. Continue reading