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[teacherartexchange] Warhol and use of trademark and photographs


From: Judy Decker (judy.decker_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Feb 17 2007 - 10:00:42 PST

Dear Art Educators,

Add this to your Pop Art Units..... Andy Warhol has been sued by
photographers (if you want those cases I will post them). Law suit was
threatened if he used trademark images (I can send you information).
Just because Andy Warhol did it is not a defense today (smile).

License agreements HAVE been made between the Andy Warhol Foundation
and the companies/celebrity estates.

Here is a blurb I found in a forum:

Information from the Warhol Estate:

Andy Warhol did not originally seek permission from Campbell Soup Company to
paint their soup cans. He apparently did not run into problems with the
company who saw his usage as amusing and the freedom of expression.

It was only after Warhol's death, when the Andy Warhol Foundation began
making licensing agreements with various manufacturers to use Warhol's
imagery on products, that there was an official legal agreement between the
Andy Warhol Foundation and Campbell Soup Company. Presently, both parties
own a stake in the copyright and neither party can make licensing agreements
without the other party's permission. Happily, we have a good relationship
with them and are involved in various licensing deals with them covering a
wide range of products.

So, to answer your question, while he was alive, Warhol did retain the
copyright to his own artworks but never addressed the issue himself as far
as Campbell Soup Company was concerned.

Thanks to Ms Keshet for sharing the Warhol Foundation's account of its
relationship with Campbell's Soup. It answers a question that often comes up
in my trademark class. I, for one, would be equally interested in knowing
whether there is a similar relationship with the Estate of Marilyn Monroe,
and whether Mr. Warhol sought permission to use Marilyn's image when he did
his famous series on her.

According to the Warhol Foundation, they have a similar licensing
arrangement with the estates of Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, and James
Dean. I assume that the situation is the same as with Campbell's: Warhol did
not seek permission initially, but the Foundation did when it sought to
exploit the works commercially after his death.

Tyler T. Ochoa
Associate Professor
Whittier Law School

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Could the Pop Art Movement survive today? That is a question our
students might want to debate.


Judy Decker
Incredible Art Department
Incredible Art Resources

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