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Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. v. Goldsmith

992 F.3d 99 (2021)

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Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. v. Goldsmith

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

992 F.3d 99 (2021)

Facts

In 1981, Lynn Goldsmith (plaintiff) took a series of photographic portraits of Prince, a famous American musician. Goldsmith arranged the lighting, posing, and makeup to emphasize Prince’s bone structure. In 1984, Goldsmith’s agency, Lynn Goldsmith, Ltd. (LGL), licensed one of Goldsmith’s photographs to Vanity Fair magazine as an artistic reference. Vanity Fair then hired Andy Warhol, a famous contemporary artist, to create an artwork based off Goldsmith’s photograph. Warhol’s work was published in Vanity Fair in November 1984. Goldsmith’s photograph was credited as the artistic reference for Warhol’s work. Without Goldsmith’s knowledge or consent, Warhol then created 15 additional works based on her photograph, collectively known as the Prince Series. Warhol’s works were mostly high-contrast screen-prints of Goldsmith’s photograph rendered in Warhol’s distinctive style. After Prince’s death in 2016, Vanity Fair sought permission from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. (AWF) (defendant) to reprint Warhol’s November 1984 artwork. After negotiating with AWF, Vanity Fair ultimately printed a different Prince Series work than the November 1984 work. Vanity Fair did not credit Goldsmith’s photograph as the artistic reference. After seeing the 2016 Vanity Fair issue, Goldsmith discovered the existence of the Prince Series and notified AWF that it was an unauthorized use of her photograph. Goldsmith then registered her copyright in the photograph as an unpublished work. AWF sued Goldsmith, seeking a declaratory judgment that the Prince Series was fair-use. The district court granted AWF summary judgment, holding that the Prince Series was a transformative use of Goldsmith’s photograph. Goldsmith appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Lynch, J.)

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