Throughout time copyrights and intellectual property have brought about some extremely controversial court cases. While most of the larger cases fell years ago, some have made a major impact in more recent years. I’d like to focus on a case that took a few different turns between the years 2009 and 2011.
It started when Richard Prince decided to make a series of paintings he called “Canal Zone”. These paintings were exhibited at the Gagosian gallery. He made 28 paintings that included images from French Photographer’s book Yes, Rasta from 2000. The book was a photo diary of Rastafarian people he had made while traveling in Jamaica.
In 2009 Cariou brought a suit against Prince for copyright infringement through his Canal Zone exhibit. On March 18, 2011, US District Judge Deborah A. Batts ruled against Prince claiming that his use of the works was not fair, and that Cariou was completely in the right. This decision stood for a while, and Cariou actually destroyed some of the works during that time.
On April 25, 2013, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit decided otherwise and overturned Judge Deborah A. Batts Ruling. They ruled that 25 of the works were deemed transformative and fair, and only 5 of the works were to be sent back for further review.
As we all know, going through the legal process can take a very long time. In this particular case, it took 35 years. We all remember the hit song “YMCA” by the Village People. It sounds like a happy fun time, but the legalities behind it caused issues and conjured up some inner group drama.
Victor Willis, the policeman from the Village People, has just recently regained control of the rights to the many hit songs he had written in the 70s, including “YMCA”. What enabled this to happen was a provision of copyright legislation that took action in 1978. The guidelines stated that songwriters would hold “termination rights.” What does that mean? Pretty much, regardless of what you did with your writing, even if you signed it over, you would regain control of your work after 35 years. This enables Victor Willis to seize back full control of the songs he had written and he can now do whatever he’d like with the work. Although not completely sure how he is going to handle his new commodities, it’s been stated that he may ban the Village People from ever performing the song again.
In these modern times, it is important for an artist of any sort to have the support of a professional legal advising firm with them. This helps them with avoiding copyright infringement. There are many professional corporations that consist of experienced professionals to provide their clients with legal advice by looking beyond hurdles, and Law Wise Corporation is one of them. They also have layers that are skilled in notary public Mississauga to notarize documents, administer oaths, certify true copies of the original documents, and other solemn affirmations.
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