The Supreme Court issued a decision today In a highly-followed case involving fair use defenses that were asserted by the Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts. The Foundation asserted the defenses in a case that alleged that Andy Warhol’s use of photographs of the musician Prince infringed U.S. copyright laws. The original photographs were taken by professional photographer Lynn Goldsmith, the party alleging infringement with respect to the Warhol works. The Warhol Foundation argued that Warhol’s changes to the photographs were of a “transformative” nature, including because the Warhol works conveyed a different meaning or message, such that there was no infringement under a fair use defense.
The Supreme Court sided with the photographer on the fair use issues raised in the case. The Supreme Court’s opinion was authored by Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor and six other Associate Justices joined in the opinion. A dissenting opinion was authored by Associate Justice Elena Kagan, who was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts.
The opinion can be found here: https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/22pdf/21-869_87ad.pdf.