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Andy Warhol’s Prince Image Brings Question of What Is Unique Art to Supreme Court

  • Did pop artist violate copyright while creating iconic images?
  • Entertainment industry says its book, music copyrights at risk
“Prince” by Lynn Goldsmith (1981) and “Prince Series” by Andy Warhol (1984)
“Prince” by Lynn Goldsmith (1981) and “Prince Series” by Andy Warhol (1984)Source: United States Supreme Court Documents

Andy Warhol once said “Art is what you can get away with.” Now a legal fight surrounding his prints of Prince threatens to upend the world of pop art as well as music, books and videos.

In a fight that has outlived both men, the US Supreme Court will consider whether Warhol was within his rights to create 16 images of the musician in 1984 using a copyrighted photograph of the musician. The case could reshape the fair-use defense to copyright infringement for follow-on works, affecting music, videos and books, as well as Warhol’s iconic art.