Tom Cotter
Associate Dean for Research & Planning
Taft Stettinius & Hollister Professor of Law

Minnesota Lawyer Quotes Professor Tom Cotter on Warhol Copyright Decision

A May 19, 2023 Minnesota Lawyer article titled Warhol foundation loses Prince portrait case discusses a May 18 U.S. Supreme Court decision holding that the Andy Warhol Foundation's licensing of a Warhol print, based on Lynn Goldsmith's photograph of the recording artist Prince, was not shielded by copyright's fair use doctrine and therefore violated Goldsmith's copyright.  The article quotes Professor Tom Cotter, who states that, while the dissenting opinion by Justice Kagan could be correct in fearing that this result will stifle creativity, he thinks that courts will adopt the "common-sense view that you have to focus on a specific use . . . . If it’s licensing a work for a commercial endeavor, and you’re bypassing an existing licensing market for the use of a photograph, as was the case here for that specific purpose, that is less likely to be a fair use than if you are using someone’s work as source material to create your own work of art.”