Sunday, November 27, 2011

#art MoMA's Problematic Provenances - George Grosz

Willi Baumeister no title 1928 (collage for Alfred Flechtheim)  image Artvalue here.

Excellent article by William Cohan on MoMA's concealment of the provenances of artworks in Alfred Flechtheim's 1933 inventory in December 2011 Art News here.  Alfred Flechtheim, depicted above by Willi Baumeister, was the most prominent contemporary art dealer of the Weimar Republic.  Scandal erupted over claims by the heirs of George Grosz that Grosz had left artworks now at MoMA in the hands of Flechtheim, who in turn was "Aryanized" by a Nazi from Dusseldorf named Alexander Voemel in 1933.

Cohan's article points out how MoMA has tried to erase Flechtheim from art history.

The MoMA, like a number of other U.S. museums, has used statutes of limitations to hold onto stolen art, even though museum administrators and trustees had concealed information that would permit heirs to make claims for decades.

MoMA Executive Glenn Lowry misled the Grosz heirs by claiming that he had no authority to refuse their claims to the three artworks in question and had not refused their claims to the artworks.    MoMA, represented by the Proskauer law firm, then changed its position, claiming that Lowry actually did have the authority to refuse the claims and that he'd actually refused the claims much earlier than he had by simply not returning the artworks.   

MoMA was successful in convincing federal judges that the "refusal" had triggered New York's three year statute of limitations.

You can read the cert petition in Grosz v MoMA here.   You can read the Second Circuit's opinion here.

It should shock the conscience of Americans that museums can use statutes of limitations to hold onto stolen art, the acquisition of which has been subsidized by U.S. taxpayers.    Rich people should not be able to avoid paying taxes by taken art stolen from Jews in the Holocaust and putting it into U.S. museums where it is hidden from scrutiny - often for decades.

Cohan does an excellent job of outing Nazi agent Curt Valentin.   More on Valentin here and here.

More on Alfred Flechtheim here and here and here.

The first part of Laurie Stein's declassified Swiss report (reference by Cohan) here.

(disclosure - the author represented the Grosz heirs in Grosz v. MoMA).
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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Fair Use Fridays: Fair Use and Cultural Development

A beautiful video argument about Copyright's fair use doctrine using works of fine art... and Manet's use of the Bass Ale logo in Olympia
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Friday, November 11, 2011

Fair Use Comix

Hitler's Take on #OWS Occupy Wall Street

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Fair Use Fridays: How Not To Get Caught for Copyright Infringement
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Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Twitter Lists Following Copyright Litigation Blog @raydowd

There are currently 63 lists following Copyright Litigation Blog @raydowd, thanks to all who list, you can find the list of lists here:

@EricSlepak/law @_sirayuki/ip-related @AngelaHart81071/law-9 @AmLawDaily/lawyers

Lawyers we follow...
@judsontwit/law @TimothyPONeill/tofollow

People on twitter to follow @TimothyPONeill/legal @ethang/intellectual-property @ethang/cyber-law @TNIPLawyer/ip-related @MarieAndreeW/new-york-attorneys @MarieAndreeW/attorneys @MarieAndreeW/intellectual-property @unyil_13/photography @TriangleTM_Esq/admktinglaw

Advertising, marketing, trademark, copyright law @TriangleTM_Esq/ip-lawyers @cyberpunknews/enemies-of-a-happy-net @CPA_Fans_Page/dailycheckacctgusa

Related mostly with financial/accounting/tax in USA, and have to check on a daily basis.
@revjaydub/copyright-law @GryphonLtd/international-law @GryphonLtd/litigation @GryphonLtd/fraud-lawyers @AdrianLurssen/jdsupra-lawyers-firms

Lawyers, law firms, and legal professionals distributing content on the @JDSupra network.

copyright and trademark tweeting

tweeting lawyers
@joygarnett/arty-world-2 @CPA_Fans_Page/accountingnews

Accounting Related News

Certified Public Accountants (CPA) and other accounting designations @joygarnett/copyfog @theglipper/first-amendment-media

Folks that tweet about journalism, media, and Amendment 1.

This is a random list of critics, bloggers, artists and media that tweet about art.
@sawagner30/business-media @CPA_Fans_Page/businessinfo1-21

Tweeps/followers who are into business and other professions

Intellectual Property Lawyers on Twitter
@aaron_ef/ip-attorneys @rgauss/rgauss-copyright @neild1/copyright @njAtty/attorneys @IP360Asia/us-canada2 @mjmartell/esq


I drew a depiction of Christ in 1979. It was stolen from me and is currently being sold by @Maurism1/derecho @lods1211/ip-it-law

Copyright, Internet/Cyber Law, Media & Entertainment Law, Defamation
@Borty/lawyers @LegalEyeGirl/lawyers-legalbiz-network

Loving the Law and LegalNews-Fighting for Justice-Staying Informed
@HarvardLaw74/ip-attorneys @IPLawToday/hollywood-law

Legal Developments in Hollywood
@mmasnick/news @ballard_ip/intellectual-property

US intellectual property law practitioners who limit their personal tweets
@ksuzan/attorneys @mridgwayjones/ip

Intellectual Property

Attorneys and others who are doing their part to share information to the legal industry
@steve_jacobs/ip-law @Lumpy/podcasters-broadcasters

Anyone who produces Audio and/or Video content.
@davidsanger/photography-law @GlennEsq/law-blogs

a List of Law-related blogs I recommend
@GoetzFitz/interesting-lawyers @RobertAPaul/law @RobertAPaul/intellectual-property @sulilaw/legal @ernieattorney/lawdawgs @ARTnewsmag/artsorgs @asilverstein/ip

Intellectual Property
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Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Copyright Society of the USA's Brace Lecture Honors Judge Denny Chin

Judge Denny Chin - Photo Sue Kim Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Local hero Second Circuit Judge Denny Chin was honored last night by the Copyright Society of the USA at their annual Brace Lecture at Fordham Law School.   Judge Chin's presentation was enjoyable and laden with visuals.   He emphasized the message that most federal judges are generalists and do not hold policy prejudices about copyright, which makes the primary role of the advocates before the court as educators.

Judge Chin made limited comments about the Google Books case, and took the audience on a fascinating tour of his copyright cases, with a few detours into patent and trademark.

It was a great opportunity to meet and talk with Judge Chin and to see many friends who came in from around the world for this terrific annual lecture.

The Copyright Society has a new Twitter handle @thecsusa
 Purchase Copyright Litigation Handbook 2011 by Raymond J. Dowd from West here  

Monday, November 07, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Takes On Copyright's Fair Use Doctrine

Documentary filmmaker Peter Brauer calls on people to #Occupy the News in this Youtube video explaining copyright's fair use doctrine to Fox News.  #ows

Brauer refers those seeking to use film clips to Stanford's Fair Use Project.
 Purchase Copyright Litigation Handbook 2011 by Raymond J. Dowd from West here  

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Andy Warhol Foundation Backs Richard Prince on Fair Use in Cariou Case

The Andy Warhol Foundation has filed an amicus brief to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in support of Richard Prince in Cariou v. Prince.

The brief, below, discusses a number of important artists and has color images of the artworks discussed.

Worth reading.  Worth viewing.

Cariou v Prince Warhol Foundation Amicus Brief
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Ninth Circuit Tribute to Chief District Judge John M. Roll
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Librarian Launches #Occupycopyright Movement

A librarian has launched an Occupy Copyright movement.  The Jersey Exile's manifesto here.
 Purchase Copyright Litigation Handbook 2011 by Raymond J. Dowd from West here  

10th Circuit Finds "Let's Go Thunder" To Be Uncopyrightable

In Syrus v. Bennett, the court of appeals for the 10th Circuit considered the issue of whether a man who claimed copyright in the short phrases "Go Thunder" and "Let's Go Thunder" had stated a claim. Referring to the Feist requirement of originality and copyright's requirement that copyright protection extends only to works that "are the fruits of intellectual labor" the court found that the phrases plaintiff claimed were infringed were not copyrightable. Adding "Let's Go" or "Go" which are common cheers to the team name required no "intellectual labor".

The plaintiff claimed that he'd written a song with these phrases and distributed the song to the team in response to a team request for song submissions.  The plaintiff pro se did not allege any copying.  Plaintiff's suit was dismissed on a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the federal rules of civil procedure. The decision is unpublished, embedded below.

Syrus v. Bennett - Copyright Infringement
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Friday, November 04, 2011

Top 20 Copyright Blogs of All Time - Source - Justia

From, as of today:

1. IPKat

2. Recording Industry vs The People
3. Chicago IP Litigation Blog
4. Chilling Effects Clearinghouse
5. Plagiarism Today
6. Likelihood of Confusion
7. Internet Cases
8. Ruling Imagination: Law and Creativity
9. Nolo Presents the Law in Plain English
10. Copyright Litigation Blog
11. TechnoLlama
12. Hearsay Culture
13. Copyfight
14. Excess Copyright
15. Video Game Law Blog
16. Ex(c)lusive Rights
17. Guiding Rights Blog
18. Blawg IT
19. eLegal Canton
20. TradeMark Express: A Daily Blog
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Thursday, November 03, 2011

SDNY Federal Bar Association - Nov 17 Chief Judge Preska To Swear In New Officers

Federal Bar Association
The Southern District of New York Chapter
Invites You to a Swearing-In of New Officers by the

The Honorable Loretta A. Preska

Chief Judge of the Southern District of New York

Date: November 17, 2011

Time: 5:00 p.m.
Place: 500 Pearl Street, Courtroom 12A

President: Simeon H. Baum, Esq.
President-Elect: Philip R. Schatz, Esq.
Vice President: William F. Dahill, Esq.
Secretary: Felicia S. Gordon, Esq.
Treasurer: Jason Nardiello, Esq.
National Delegate: Olivera Medenica, Esq.
Delegate to the Network of Bar Leaders: Amy Nussbaum Gell

Outgoing President: John G. McCarthy


Respectfully submitted,

Raymond J. Dowd
John G. McCarthy
Vice Presidents for the Second Circuit

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Copyright Legislation: Petition to Stop E-Parasite Act Tops 8k In Signatures

Mike Masnick of Techdirt points out an excellent C-Net article criticizing the House version of the Protect-IP Act (the E-Parasite Act).

It is astonishing that both houses of Congress appear to be highly motivated to pass this radical and sweeping legislation that appears to be designed to shut down the one bright spot in the American economy: the internet.   Hollywood is seeking powers that would render the U.S. version of the internet much like the Chinese censorship-driven model.

This is important legislation.  It ought to be watched carefully and opposed by anyone sensible.

To sign on to a petition to stop this legislation, go here, more information at Mashable.

The language of the petition below:

we petition the obama administration to:

Stop the E-PARASITE Act.

This Bill would allow essentially allow A Great Firewall of America and would be a shameful desecration of free speech and any sort of reasonable copyright law. The new Law would allow copyright holders to force websites which have any copyrighted material to be blocked by ISP companies around the country, without requiring that the websites be given time to take the offending material down. It would also put pressure on ISP companies to monitor their users like never before, a gross invasion of privacy. This bill is a direct assault on a free internet and a shameful attempt by copyright lobbyists to destroy net neutrality. Essentially it's a censorship law that would end the internet as we know it in America.

Created: Oct 31, 2011

Issues: Civil Rights and Liberties, Government Reform, Regulatory Reform

Learn about Petition Thresholds

It's up to you to build support for petitions you care about and gather more signatures. A petition must get 150 signatures in order to be publicly searchable on

Over time, we may need to adjust the petition signature thresholds, but we'll always let you know what the thresholds are.

Signatures needed by November 30, 2011 to reach goal of 25,000  16,747 

Total signatures on this petition8,253.You've signed this petition
 Purchase Copyright Litigation Handbook 2011 by Raymond J. Dowd from West here