Clip, clip, clip. Today’s “recycle and remix” culture results in art that is a sum of bits and pieces taken from other artists’ work, whether it’s mashed-up music ala Girl Talk or a collage or series of paintings made by appropriating imagery that was created by others. The latter was the topic of debate in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York in Cariou v. Prince et al, 784 F. Supp. 2d 337 (S.D. NY 2011). This New York Times article, which discusses the outcome of the case (and its pending appeal) is worth the read. Yes, Mr. Prince used others’ work to create his own new works. But what about fair use? What about commentary and criticism? What about the free flow of creative expression? After all, Mr. Prince said his message was “to make great art that makes people feel good,” and isn’t that a goal that all creators strive to achieve?
But, on the other hand, doesn’t one have the right to protect what he or she created? Mr. Prince has made millions from selling his work. Should the “original” artists, whose work he appropriated to create his artwork, get a piece of that multimillion-dollar pie? See what Randy Kennedy at the New York Times has to say as he takes a look at the case and “creative uses of copying.”