Judge Rules Andy Warhol Did Not Violate Prince Photo Copyright
Andy Warhol. Lasse Olsson / Pressens bild [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Judge Rules Andy Warhol Did Not Violate Prince Photo Copyright

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NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess) — U.S. District Judge John G. Koeltl in Manhattan has ruled that Andy Warhol did not violate renowned photographer Lynn Goldsmith’s copyright over her image of musical icon Prince by transforming and incorporating it into his own works of art, according to The Associated Press.

The case tested whether the legendary artist who died in 1987 made fair use of a 1981 picture of the famed late singer when he created a series of 16 artworks that became known as the “Prince Series.” The series contained 12 silkscreen paintings, two screen prints on paper and two drawings, reports AP.

Andy Warhol’s “Prince Series”

Judge Koeltl reportedly noted that while Goldsmith believes the photographs she took of Prince in her New York City studio revealed him to be “uncomfortable” and “vulnerable,” he feels Warhol’s artworks, with their “loud, unnatural” colors, stood in “stark contrast” to the original black-and-white photographs and thus produced the “opposite mood” effectively transforming Prince into an “iconic, larger-than-life figure.” Judge Koeltl also reportedly noted that each Prince series work is immediately recognizable as a ‘Warhol’ rather than as a realistic photograph of Prince.

In her case, Goldsmith claimed a 2016 publication of the Warhol artwork destroyed a high-profile licensing opportunity, reports AP.

Her lawyer plans to appeal the ruling.

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