Cariou v. Prince, No. 11-1197 (2d Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff sued defendant and the Gagosian Gallery, alleging that defendant's series of paintings and collages infringed on plaintiff's registered copyrights in certain photographs from a book of classical portraits and landscape photographs that plaintiff took while living among Rastafarians in Jamaica. The district court concluded that, in order for defendant to use a fair use defense, defendant's work must comment on plaintiff, on plaintiff's photographs, or on aspects of popular culture closely associated with plaintiff or the photographs. The court concluded that the district court applied the incorrect standard to determine whether defendant's artworks made fair use of plaintiff's copyrighted photographs; that all but five of defendant's works did make fair use of the photographs; and with regard to the remaining five artworks at issue, the court remanded to the district court to consider whether defendant was entitled to a fair use defense. Accordingly, the court reversed in part, vacated in part, and remanded.