Rogers VS. Koons
Art Rogers, a professional photographer, took a black-and-white photo of a man and a woman with their arms full of puppies. The photograph was simply entitled, Puppies, and was used on greeting cards and other generic merchandise.
Jeff Koons, an internationally known artist, found the picture on a postcard and wanted to make a sculpture based on the photograph for an art show on the theme of banality of everyday items. After removing the copyright label from the postcard, he gave it to his assistants with instructions on how to model the sculpture. He asked that as much detail be copied as possible, though the puppies were to be made blue, their noses exaggerated, and flowers to be added to the hair of the man and woman.
The sculpture, entitled, String of Puppies, became a success. Koons sold three of them for a total of $367,000.
Upon discovering that his picture had been copied, Rogers sued Koons and the Sonnabend Gallery for copyright infringement. Koons admitted to having copied the image intentionally, but attempted to claim fair use by parody. Rogers was awarded a large monetary settlement from Koons and Koons also was required to ship the fourth sculpture, remaining in the collection of Koons, to Rogers in Germany.
Associated Press VS. Fairey
The Barack Obama "Hope"
poster is an image of Barack Obama designed by artist Shepard Fairey,
which was widely described as iconic and came to represent the 2008
Obama presidential campaign. in
January 2009, the photograph on which Fairey based the poster was revealed: an
April 2006 shot by former Associated Press freelance photographer Mannie Garcia. In response
to claims by theAssociated Press for compensation, Fairey sued for
judgment that his poster was
a fair use of the original photograph. The parties settled out of court in January 2011, with
details of the settlement remaining confidential.
On February 24, 2012, Fairey pleaded guilty in a New York federal court to
destroying and fabricating documents during his legal battle with the Associated
Press. Fairey had sued the news service in 2009 after it claimed that the famous
poster was based on one of its photos. Fairey claimed that he used a different
photograph for the poster. But he admitted that, in fact, he was wrong and tried to hide the error by destroying documents and manufacturing others, which is the source of the one count of criminal contempt to which he pleaded guilty. In September, Fairey was sentenced to
two years of probation, 300 hours of community service, and
a fine of $25,000.
Vanilla Ice VS. David Bowie & Freddie Mercury
In a similar fashion to MC
Hammer sampling Superfreak,
Vanilla Ice sampled the most identifiable riffs from David
Bowie and Queen's songUnder
Pressure for his only hit Ice
Ice Baby on
his 1990 album titled To
However, unlike MC Hammer, Vanilla didn't bother to license, or even credit, the
case never went to trial, although rumor has it that the copyright holders
Pressure threatened suit and settled with
Vanilla out of court for an undisclosed sum.