Last week, the Supreme Court handed down its long-awaited ruling in the case of Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts v. Goldsmith. The majority opinion found in favor of photographer Lynn Goldsmith that the Warhol Foundation infringed on her copyright when it licensed the Pop artist’s silkscreen portrait Orange Prince to Condé Nast in 2016.
Some legal experts are concerned about what the case means for art and creativity going forward. “It’s gonna stifle a lot of creativity,” Danielle Falls, a partner at First Gen Law told Artnet News. “A lot of art is going to be less risky and potentially less great than it otherwise would have been, absent this ruling.”
Other are declaring the court’s opinion a major victory for copyright protection, particularly for artists like Goldsmith, who make a living licensing their work for reproduction. “Contrary to the panic that may ensue following the issuance of the Supreme Court’s Warhol opinion, most creative artists should welcome the reining in of the copyright law’s fair use doctrine,” Gary Rinkerman, a partner of the firm Fisher Broyles, told Artnet News in an email.
Lynn Goldsmith poses for a photo with attorney Lisa Blatt on the steps of the Supreme Court for the Warhol v. Goldsmith case on October 12, 2022 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Mickey Osterreicher/Getty Images.