Today, photographer Lynn Goldsmith again won a decisive judgment against the Andy Warhol Foundation at the influential 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals after her first victory in March of 2021. Shortly after the ruling by the 2nd Circuit in March, the U.S. Supreme Court rendered a holding in a totally different case, Google v. Oracle. This was important because the Court was examining the nature of “fair-use” in copyright law. Read on for some of the details of this critical victory.
[Author’s Note: the author drafted an amicus brief on behalf of Lynn Goldsmith in this matter. Further, ASMP has written extensively on this case. You can see those articles:
Lynn Goldsmith Prevails Over Andy Warhol Foundation in Fair Use Battle
ASMP’s Amicus Brief by Thomas Maddrey
2020 ASMP Article on Arguments in the 2nd Circuit
2017 ASMP Article on Transformative Fair Use
Many thought that this would have direct implications on previous cases such as Goldsmith’s. But today, in an amended opinion that was substituted after Warhol’s counsel asked for “rehearing”, the 2nd Circuit again held that the reasoning of the Supreme Court in Google v. Oracle was not pertinent to the Goldsmith case, and conclusively found that Warhol’s use was NOT fair-use as a matter of law. Here are some key quotes from the opinion:
When speaking about the arguments presented by the Warhol Foundation (AWF), the Court said that, “the petition mostly recycles arguments already made and rejected, and requires little comment.”
They further went on to say that “[w]e emphatically reject AWF’s assertion that Google ‘comprehensively refutes the panel’s reasoning.’ To the contrary, as an attentive reading of the discussion above will show, the principles enunciated in Google are fully consistent with our original opinion.”
This may not be the end of the road for this case, but twice now, Goldsmith has prevailed in a decisive manner at one of the most important venues in the country, and ASMP could not be more supportive of her efforts.