In the case of Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. v. Lynn Goldsmith and Lynn Goldsmith, Ltd., the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has joined associations representing libraries, archives, and other cultural heritage organizations in an amicus brief in support of neither party.
The case concerns a photograph of the musician Prince that Lynn Goldsmith licensed to Vanity Fair for Andy Warhol’s use as a reference work to create an original print. Years later, Goldsmith sued the Andy Warhol Foundation for copyright infringement after learning that Warhol created and distributed 15 additional prints based on Goldsmith’s photograph; the additional prints are the subject of the lawsuit. The district court found in favor of the Warhol Foundation on fair-use grounds; the Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that decision, holding that the Warhol prints were not transformative.
In the brief, amici urge the US Supreme Court to consider how its decision and reasoning may affect transformative uses in support of research, teaching, scholarship, and learning. The brief cites the recent Google v. Oracle decision as an example of how the Supreme Court has deepened and reaffirmed its commitment to a robust fair-use doctrine that shields core domains, such as research and teaching. Further, libraries and archives are stewards of creative works, and do not want the legality of specialized collections to be called into question by this fair-use decision.
In addition to ARL, amici on this brief include Library Futures Institute, the Software Preservation Network, the EveryLibrary Institute, the American Library Association, and the Association of College and Research Libraries.
About the Association of Research Libraries
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 127 research libraries in Canada and the US whose mission is to advance research, learning, and scholarly communication. The Association fosters the open exchange of ideas and expertise; advances diversity, equity, and inclusion; and pursues advocacy and public policy efforts that reflect the values of the library, scholarly, and higher education communities. ARL forges partnerships and catalyzes the collective efforts of research libraries to enable knowledge creation and to achieve enduring and barrier-free access to information. ARL is on the web at ARL.org.