Koons won this case as the court argued that Koons' use of Blanch's work did not breach the fair use doctrine. It is necessary to look at this later case in order to understand the court ruling of the earlier case: Rogers v. Koons. By comparing the two cases we get a clearer idea of what fair use is and the complexities which are involved. Moreover, the later case marks a more developed understanding, and that there is indeed change and progress within art law.
This Blog compares the Koons v. Blanch case and the Koons v. Rogers case. The latter he lost because the work was not transformative enough and therefore not fair use. In the Koons v. Blanch case, Koons used part of Andrea Blanch's Silk Sandals by Gucci photo in his painting entitled Niagra. It was considered fair use because he took only the legs, added a heel, inverted the orientation and added color, thus, transforming the original and giving it a new meaning and identity. Moreover, it did not threaten to harm the market of the original artist.
The blogger points out that although in the Koons v. Blanch case, Koons was not breaching copyright, it is diffcult to take from a case and apply it elsewhere in deciding what is fair use, which is what deems it such a gray area. The blog argues against fair use as "the real issue is that fair use doctrine is a red herring that we should just dump." Who decides when something is transformed enough. For example, had the orientation of the legs in Niagara been tilted to a slightly lesser degree, or had the heel not been added, perhaps this would not have been enough. One can argue that in String of Puppies, Koons has changed the scale, color, medium etc. But in this example it was not enough and Koons lost. The question is, when is it enough? And who is at liberty to decide?