Alexander Cuntz, Matthias Sahli, 28 April 2021

Appropriation artists incorporate borrowed images from different sources to produce new compositions. These artists not only risk infringing copyright, but also leave intermediaries such as auction houses at risk of litigation. This column considers changes to the secondary market for appropriation art in the aftermath of a 2013 decision by the US Court of Appeals. Providing quantitative evidence of how the ‘fair use’ defence has affected the secondary arts market, the column questions whether the existing framework promotes or hampers innovation in the art world.

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