Appropriation Art Analysis

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How is the law applied to cases of copyright infringement within the context of appropriation art and intellectual property theft and how could it be better used to protect independent designers? The purpose of this essay is to explore both the legalities of copyright within the design industry and how we might draw our own moral conclusions as to what is an acceptable level of appropriation. I will compare and contrast the various levels of design theft by looking at appropriation art, both historically and in a contemporary context, along with examples of where high-street stores have exploited the vulnerability of independent designers. Along the way my research has also provoked other lines of questioning, such as the possible effect of…show more content…
Logo’s and advertising were powerful tools used to create the household names that we’re so familiar with today. It was in response to this that Andy Warhol utilised iconic images that were easily recognised by the public. He would transfer logos, photographs and newspaper cuttings onto silk screens, a printing method that allowed him to mimic the assembly line effect employed within mass production. Then, by using bold and contrasting colours the images were removed from their original context and transformed into a piece of art. Like Duchamp he was challenging the traditional notion of what art is, but in contrast he was crossing a line far closer to copyright infringement by using images belonging to other artists and corporations. It’s not uncommon to think that Warhol escaped any backlash from the law over his continued appropriation, but in fact Warhol was sued on three occasions, all of which he settled out of court. It was due to this that Warhol amongst other well-known appropriation artists of the time “decided that possibly infringing other artists’ copyright was legally unwise and potentially expensive” (L.Gilbrert – Art Newspaper) It was Warhols curator Ronald Feldman that went as far as saying that “he (Warhol) had learned a lesson from the…show more content…
This decision also lead him to taking up photography in order to keep generating new work, a path he may not have gone down if he had been able to continue appropriating. Prince on the other hand fought for his right to use another photographer’s images and after his appeal won that right for the majority of the pieces in question. This was a turning point not just for Prince, but for future appropriation cases, for once the precedent has been set judges will use this as a benchmark for determining future fair use

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