Big Law

US Court of Appeals Reverses a 2019 Picasso Copyright Ruling

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a 2019 federal district court’s ruling that a French court’s judgment pertaining to a lawsuit involving copyrighted photos of Pablo Picasso’s art was unenforceable under U.S. law. The case is notable for the very different conclusions two U.S. courts—the United States District Court for the Northern District of California and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals—reached regarding the copyright fair use defense, and it exemplifies the often-complex task of evaluating each of the fair use factors.

According to the Court of Appeals’ decision in De Fontbrune v. Wofsy, the defendants published a series of books in 1991 about the works of Pablo Picasso. The defendants’ books featured a number of plaintiffs’ copyrighted photographs that plaintiffs had previously published in a book that catalogued the complete works of Picasso. The parties commenced a protracted and complex legal battle in France that resulted in a decision from a French court that held the defendants liable for copyright infringement. The French court ultimately awarded the plaintiffs damages of €2 million.

Read the source article at forbes.com

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