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Withers art - US dispute resolution updates

24 January 2019 | 3 minute watch

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Withers art - US dispute resolution updates
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Withers art - US dispute resolution updates

​​​Note: We have provided a transcript of the discussion in this podcast if you are unable to listen to the audio version. This transcript is generated using a combination of speech recognition software and human transcribers and may contain errors.

Dean Nisipper (00:07): Hello, I'm Dean nisipper. I'm here with Kim almazon and Lauren Bursey and we are part of the withers art dispute resolution team after the busy year. We saw in 2018. We would like to highlight for you some of the things we expect to see on the horizon this year. Last year, the repatriation of Antiquities was a major issue. For example in New York, the Manhattan district attorney established an entire unit devoted entirely to investigating potentially  looted antiquities. That unit was very busy investigating art in the hands of prominent museums and collectors. We expect to see more investigations this year.

Dean Nisipper (00:46): Kim what are some of the things you're seeing in California? 

Kim almazon (00:50): Well Dean and good news for auction houses and art dealers in July of this past year the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal struck down a law that would have required the 5% resale royalty payment to any artist who's work of art sold in the state of California for over $1,000. We've been hearing that sellers were quite worried about this potential requirement. So now that the law settled and the uncertainty is eliminated we anticipate seeing a surge in the secondary Market.

Dean Nisipper (01:15): Lauren I hear that the money laundering rules are starting to spill over into the art world. 

Lauren Bursey (01:21): That's true Dean in May of this past year a bill was introduced in the house to expand the bank secrecy act to apply to auction houses and gallery owners previously. The bank secrecy act had applied only two financial institutions and Banks and requiring them to report instances of money laundering criminal activity and fraud this follows a similar law that was introduced this past year in the European Union as well. So there's definitely increased scrutiny of art transactions and we'll be looking forward to seeing what's kind of enforcement happens in the coming years.

Dean Nisipper (01:55): We've also been seeing a lot of activity concerning copyright. For example, a French Court just recently ruled that appropriation artist. Jeff Koons is guilty of copyright infringement that decision could have influence on us courts when they consider whether appropriation art created by appropriation artists such as Koons and others actually infringed somebody else's copyright or whether it's protected by the fair use Doctrine.

Also Street artists gained a lot of recognition this year for example public outcry. Forced the retail designer H&M to drop its challenge to a claim by an artist who said H&M had used his art in advertisements without his permission. Similarly another artist made a claim against Macy's alleging the same thing. We can expect to see other Street artists challenge unauthorized of use of their art in the future.

Dean Nisipper, Lauren Bursey &  Kim almazon (02:53): On behalf of the three of us and the entire team here Withers. We look forward to assisting you in whatever art issues you need help with this year. So, please contact us.

This is the time of year to focus on what’s happened in the art market in 2018 and look at the opportunities to come this year.

Diana Wierbicki, Sarah Verano and Amanda Rottermund, members of the Transactional and Tax team of Withers’ art law group, discuss the changes in art related legal issues over 2018, and what to keep an eye out for in 2019.

Click here to watch our US Transactional and Tax video.


​​​Note: We have provided a transcript of the discussion in this podcast if you are unable to listen to the audio version. This transcript is generated using a combination of speech recognition software and human transcribers and may contain errors.

Dean Nisipper (00:07): Hello, I'm Dean nisipper. I'm here with Kim almazon and Lauren Bursey and we are part of the withers art dispute resolution team after the busy year. We saw in 2018. We would like to highlight for you some of the things we expect to see on the horizon this year. Last year, the repatriation of Antiquities was a major issue. For example in New York, the Manhattan district attorney established an entire unit devoted entirely to investigating potentially  looted antiquities. That unit was very busy investigating art in the hands of prominent museums and collectors. We expect to see more investigations this year.

Dean Nisipper (00:46): Kim what are some of the things you're seeing in California? 

Kim almazon (00:50): Well Dean and good news for auction houses and art dealers in July of this past year the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal struck down a law that would have required the 5% resale royalty payment to any artist who's work of art sold in the state of California for over $1,000. We've been hearing that sellers were quite worried about this potential requirement. So now that the law settled and the uncertainty is eliminated we anticipate seeing a surge in the secondary Market.

Dean Nisipper (01:15): Lauren I hear that the money laundering rules are starting to spill over into the art world. 

Lauren Bursey (01:21): That's true Dean in May of this past year a bill was introduced in the house to expand the bank secrecy act to apply to auction houses and gallery owners previously. The bank secrecy act had applied only two financial institutions and Banks and requiring them to report instances of money laundering criminal activity and fraud this follows a similar law that was introduced this past year in the European Union as well. So there's definitely increased scrutiny of art transactions and we'll be looking forward to seeing what's kind of enforcement happens in the coming years.

Dean Nisipper (01:55): We've also been seeing a lot of activity concerning copyright. For example, a French Court just recently ruled that appropriation artist. Jeff Koons is guilty of copyright infringement that decision could have influence on us courts when they consider whether appropriation art created by appropriation artists such as Koons and others actually infringed somebody else's copyright or whether it's protected by the fair use Doctrine.

Also Street artists gained a lot of recognition this year for example public outcry. Forced the retail designer H&M to drop its challenge to a claim by an artist who said H&M had used his art in advertisements without his permission. Similarly another artist made a claim against Macy's alleging the same thing. We can expect to see other Street artists challenge unauthorized of use of their art in the future.

Dean Nisipper, Lauren Bursey &  Kim almazon (02:53): On behalf of the three of us and the entire team here Withers. We look forward to assisting you in whatever art issues you need help with this year. So, please contact us.

This document (and any information accessed through links in this document) is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this document.

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