Zakolski LA. Exclusive Rights in Copyrighted Works; Exploitation of Artistic and Literary Property A. Exclusive Rights 2. Visual Arts. American Jurisprudence 2, September, 2008.
This is a treatise from the Westlaw database, and is specifically from AMJUR. Just like most of the other readings, it first outlines the Visual Artists' Rights Act. Interestingly, it states that the rights under VARA only apply to the creator or owner of the work, regardless of if that author is the copyright owner. The main body of this piece of research summarizes court cases having to do with VARA. In such cases as, Pollara v. Seymour, 150 F. Supp. 2d 393 (N.D. N.Y. 2001), a precedent was set that just because the work was not actually up for exhibition, does not mean it does not get protection under VARA. Citing Pollara v. Seymour, 344 F.3d 265 (2d Cir. 2003), it was determined that when a banner is hand painted but used for a political message, and specifically when paid for by the organization that the message is for, then it is not protected under VARA. In another noteworthy case that is mentioned, Martin v. City of Indianapolis, a ruling was made regarding “recognized stature.” This stated that although the city claimed that it did not know the work was of prominence or supported by VARA, the fact that there were newspaper and magazine articles about the work prove that the city had access to the information; therefore the city could not claim ignorance.
This research examines the scope and implication of VARA, and exemplifies how VARA was put into use. By compiling summaries of major court cases, the treatise allows quick access to decisions regarding VARA; thus prompting further research and exploration about the topics discussed. These cases highlight how works are not protected if they are considered “work for hire” and that if sufficient information is available to the public about the significance of a work, someone cannot damage or destroy it and then claim lack of knowledge. It is necessary to research these cases further to analyze their significance entirely, but having a quick summary is useful to get the main points and facts that resulted from the decisions.