I am not expert in copyright law.... but from what I read, Richard
Prince is in violation of copyright law. What he is doing would NOT be
covered by Fair Use. There is even case law that would support the
original photographers of the ads that Richard Prince has lifted.
This would be a good topic for your students to debate. Maybe have a mock trial.
See New York Times article:
If the Copy Is an Artwork, Then What's the Original?
By RANDY KENNEDY
"Since the late 1970s, when Richard Prince became known as a pioneer
of appropriation art — photographing other photographs, usually from
magazine ads, then enlarging and exhibiting them in galleries — the
question has always hovered just outside the frames: What do the
photographers who took the original pictures think of these pictures
of their pictures, apotheosized into art but without their names
anywhere in sight?"
Says Jim Krantz (Marlboro Man Photographer):
"I'm not a mean person, and I'm not a vindictive person," ... "I just
want some recognition, and I want some understanding."
Krantz needs a good lawyer who will take the case. Krantz would win!
Prince's works "fail" the four tests of Fair Use.
Well...Mr. Krantz, you have understanding from me.