Warhol, 2 Live Crew At Center Of New Plagiarism Debate

The Bridge: Andy Warhol’s iconic portrait of Prince is the center of a lively copyright debate that made its way all the way up to the Supreme Court. Discussions over fair use and plagiarism are getting louder and more insistent. Could the future of art – and artists – be on the line?

15 Minutes of Fame

The short version is: in the 80s, the eccentric artist transformed the original photograph of Prince without permission to make an iconic piece of work. The photographer has recently sued over the use of the work in a popular magazine without crediting her.

So 40 years later, the question of whether or not the piece of art was “transformative” enough to dodge fair use copyright law is being discussed at the highest levels.

Warhol isn’t the only one at the center of this discussion: the work of our old pal Leonardo da Vinci and 2 Live Crew was dredged up as well.

This brushes up against some of the coverage we’ve done in the past on AI art and creative copyright infringement, and stands to be a big moment for the future of artists.

The Artist of the Future 🎨🤖

Right now, anyone can hop onto an AI image generator and create a piece of work in the style of their favorite artist. Since the technology is new and novel (and since a lot of legislators don’t know how the internet works) there has been little to no official pushback.

But as time goes on, young artists interested in pursuing these particular avenues might find themselves in legal hot water.

While it might be a while before we see any significant movement in the legal world as it relates to copyright and art, it is certainly interesting to consider how it will unfold. Young people are growing up in a world where “art” as a concept is changing rapidly, alongside the technology they all hold in their hands.

This court decision has the hallmarks of a vastly important one: so we’ll be keeping our eyes open for you! 👀

thanks andy // freepik x J. Santana

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