The Estate of Andy Warhol Sues Over Image Of Prince
Pop art icon Andy Warhol‘s estate is suing a photographer who has allegedly claimed that he copied her photo of Prince.
According to a lawsuit filed Friday, Apr. 7, in New York federal court — Warhol painted a series of portraits of Prince in 1984 and, according the accuser, he “drew inspiration from and transformed a publicity photograph” of the artist that was in circulation at the time.
e estate of pop art icon Andy Warhol is suing a photographer to protect his legacy from her claim that he copied her photo of Prince, according to a lawsuit filed Friday in New York federal court. The one making the claim, Lynn Goldsmith, is complaining, three decades later, that Warhol violated her copyright in the original 1981 photo.
Warhol’s estate is striking first by seeking a declaration that the Prince series does not infringe on Goldsmith’s work, that the works in the series are transformative and protected by fair use and that any potential copyright claims are barred by the statute of limitations and the doctrine of laches.
Attorney Luke Nikas wrote in the complaint, “Warhol often used photographs taken by others as inspiration for his portraits, Warhol’s works were entirely new creations. As would be plain to any reasonable observer, each portrait in Warhol’s Prince Series fundamentally transformed the visual aesthetic and meaning of the Prince Publicity Photograph.”
As the estate argues that Goldsmith knew about the series since 1984 because she granted a license to Vanity Fair for use of one of the Warhol images — the photographer claimed she didn’t learn about the pop art adaptations until Conde Nast published a special issue called “The Genius of Prince” in 2016. “Despite knowing that Warhol’s portraits are a protected fair use, Defendants have attempted to extort a settlement from the Foundation,” a statement written by Nikas said.
In Jan. 2015, Goldsmith wrote, “It is a crime that so many ‘artists’ can get away with taking photographers images and paint on them or do whatever to them without asking permission of the ‘artist’ who created the image in the first place.”