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NEA Report Shows Stronger Contribution of the Arts to the US Economy than Previously Assumed

Posted by Rebecca Blake on January 15, 2016

A report issued in mid-January by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) concludes that the arts make a substantial contribution to the US economy – 4% of the GDP (gross domestic product), or $698 billion. The report summarized the first in-depth study by the federal government of the impact of the arts and cultural sector to the GDP. The results indicate that the arts are a bigger driver of the US economy than previously assumed. For example, results showed that in 2012, the arts contributed more to the US economy than construction or transportation and warehousing, and that for every 100 new jobs created by the demand for the arts, an additional 62 jobs were created.

Lawsuit May Successfully Challenge Fair Use Defense in Art Appropriation

Posted by Rebecca Blake on January 11, 2016

Artist Richard Prince has made a career out of rephotographing others’ images, earning the ire of photographers and artists. This practice led to an ultimately unsuccessful copyright infringement lawsuit by photographer Patrick Cariou. In that case, the court weighed in favor of Prince, agreeing that for the most part, his appropriation of Cariou’s photos was “transformative” and falls under fair use. This year, Prince is being sued once again for infringement, by photographer Donald Graham. And this time, experts agree that a fair use defense by Prince will have a much dimmer chance of succeeding. The outcome of this case could clarify further the limits of fair use protection in the cases of art appropriation.

Copyright Infringement Dispute Highlights Issues of Plagiarism on Social Media

Posted by Rebecca Blake on December 29, 2015

Illustrator Ally Burguieres discovered this past Fall that one of her illustrations was posted to Taylor Swift’s social media accounts. The work was a copy of an illustration Burguieres sells as a print, and the fan who copied the work signed her own name rather than including Burguieres’ credit line. Swift apparently posted a snapshot of the fan’s post to her Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram accounts to promote her 1989 tour. Burguieres posted on Facebook that while her infringing work was immediately removed from Swift’s account, she was offered a four-figure compensation with the stipulation that she donate the amount to an animal charity. The dispute casts a spotlight on the tangled issues created by the prevalence of fan art, a poor understanding of copyright, and the confusion created by the terms of use on social media sites.

Apparel Company Counters Piracy Accusation with Bogus Claim of Copyright Infringement

Posted by Rebecca Blake on December 28, 2015

Canadian illustrator Eric Kim reported that his illustration of pro wrestler Randy “The Macho Man” Savage was pirated by apparel company Freeze Central Mills Inc. When Kim contacted Freeze and requested a fee of $1,500 for the use of his image, Freeze returned an offer of only $350. Even worse, they told Kim that he “was in trouble with the WWE (Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment)” since he was violating the copyright of the image. Not only was Freeze incorrect on the copyright issue, they apparently have a history of violating intellectual property rights.

Holiday GIFts, Courtesy of Creative Mornings

Posted by Rebecca Blake on December 15, 2015

Creative Mornings, the global network of free breakfast talks on creativity and technology, posted a wonderful freebie for creative professionals during the month of December. The “GIF Channel” is a wall of GIF animations on themes relevant to freelancers and agency staff: waiting for feedback or payment, finishing a long project, or searching for motivation. The organization curated a collection of GIF animations, and has invited viewers to share a GIFt with their clients.

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