Lindey A & Landau M. Chapter 16. Art Work [*] VII. Protection of Artists' Rights in Federal and State Statutes and Court Decisions. B. Federal Laws. Lindey on Entertainment, Publishing and the Arts. 3, Nov 2008.
Beginning like many of the other sources, this chapter begins with a background of VARA. However, newly noted is the fact that a bill like this was proposed several times between 1979 and 1990. It provides insight into the concerns of legislators regarding how critical including some type of moral protection for artists really was. Also, the notion that some states already had moral rights provisions in their laws is important, but now the federal law trumps the states’ provisions. Emphasis is placed on the fact that this act is setting a precedent of not just preserving the economic rights of the artist, but the moral rights as well. Because VARA is explicitly geared towards protecting “visual arts” there is argument as to whether the work is “applied art.” If the work is considered a visual art, then it must be viewed as a whole, and not on an elemental basis. This research is useful to understand the opposing argument; as to why the one party might believe that they are not infringing on VARA. The case, Carter v. Helmsley Spear Inc., is described to show how substantial of a reach VARA can have. Other cases such as Pavia v. 1120 Avenue of the Americas Associates are cited to show how state law and federal law can be interrelated. Summary paragraphs of cases include: In English v. BFC & R East 11th Street LLC; Peker v. Masters Collection; Grauer v. Deutsch; Pollara v. Seymour; and Scott v. Dixon among others. These cases all combine to specify and determine VARA’s jurisdiction, as well as putting it into application.
There are a great deal of cases in this treatise, and by giving a brief summary of each, the researcher can then go to other resources to find more detailed information about each case. Using each court case to define the limits, scope, and extent of VARA is key to its interpretation and incorporation into United States law. By starting with the history behind the act and then seeing its implementation and interpretation through court cases, we can construct a big picture of how VARA has helped shape our copyright culture.