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Lee v. A.R.T. Co.

125 F.3d 580 (7th Cir. 1997)

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Lee v. A.R.T. Co.

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

125 F.3d 580 (7th Cir. 1997)

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Facts

Annie Lee (plaintiff) created artistic works that she sold to art retailers, including Deck the Walls. Deck the Walls sold a few of Lee’s artistic works to A.R.T. Company (A.R.T.) (defendant), which took the purchased pieces and permanently affixed the pieces to tiles before reselling those pieces. Believing that A.R.T.’s practice of mounting her works to tiles amounted to the preparation of derivative works, Lee brought a claim against A.R.T. for infringement of her copyrights. Lee based her claim in part on Mirage Editions, Inc. v. Albuquerque A.R.T. Co., 856 F.2d 1341 (9th Cir. 1988), in which the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that A.R.T.’s practice of mounting artistic works to tiles was a violation of the exclusive right of copyright owners to prepare derivative works. Nevertheless, the district court disagreed with the ninth circuit’s decision and granted A.R.T.’s motion for summary judgment on the issue of copyright infringement. Lee appealed the decision.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Easterbrook, J.)

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