Ames, E. Kenly. "Beyond Rogers v. Koons: A Fair Use Standard for Appropriation." Columbia Law Review 6th ser. 93 (1993): 1473-526.
The article begins by detailing the origins of Rogers v. Koons: Koons making a sculpture inspired by Roger's photograph Puppies. Koons lost the trial after courts failed to see reason to his fair use by parody defense. After describing the loss of Koons in court, the author posits several questions that are essential to my paper. Ames asks, "Is the use to which Koons puts Roger's photographs mere piracy of someone else's images? Or is it art in some more meaningful sense? If it is more than piracy, does it deserve the protection of copyright law, and, if so, then how should that protection be afforded to balance appropriately the interests of the original creator, the viewing public, and the appropriator?" This article attempts to answer these questions by giving an overview of how contemporary art came to appropriation as a technique and by explaining how copyright law exists within the current art world. Additionally, the author discusses several issues created out of the ongoing dialogue between copyright and artists. To begin with, it seems as if too often artists edit their art around copyright and the potential of being sued. The author argues that that appropriation should be protected under fair use. However, Ames sees the current fair use doctrine as inadequate in protecting appropriation artists. Lawmakers and artists are put into a grey area too often. Ames discusses new guidelines and rules that need to be developed to protect appropriation, while hushing copyright holders who are all too eager to sue. The author concludes by developing a standardized method for protecting appropriation artists. This method, an adaptation of the four factor analysis, is based on protecting the copyright holder's future markets instead of safeguarding infringement rights in work. The latter is founded on the idea that an appropriator's work will not substantially affect the value of the copyright holder's work.
Rogers v. Koons was a landmark decision. This article shows how the court case brought up a myriad of questions for our 21st Century society. When writing my research paper, it will be important to be able to explain not just what these questions are, but what many contemporary thinkers have responded with. Ames proposes a creative solution to the many different problems created when law does not sufficiently protect appropriation artists. Perhaps most important to my paper, Beyond Rogers v. Koons: A Fair Use Standard for Appropriation presents the debate by showing what great value society can get from appropriating.
This article takes the 1992 case of Rogers vs. Koons, and, analyzes the effect it has had. Fair Use more often than not puts the artist/author/lawyer/judge etc. in a gray area, wherein delineating the boundaries is very tricky. It discusses the development of appropriation as an art form, and necessary guide lines that must be developed in order to understand and adhere to copyright laws. Piracy is a huge point of controversy in the art world, as art is subjective and difficult to monitor. The Rogers v. Koons should not be overlooked as anything less than a landmark in the history of art for bringing up some issues that are central to our everyday existence, especially in the western world where we are saturated by the mass media, mass culture and commercialism.