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Art Law: Cases and Materials, Third Edition

  • Leonard D. DuBoff
  • Michael D. Murray
Series / Aspen Casebook Series
Teaching Materials
Table of contents

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Art Law: Cases and Materials, Third Edition is written by Leonard DuBoff, a founder of the discipline of art law, and by Michael Murray, a prolific scholar of art law and intellectual property law. The current edition focuses on law and the visual arts world that now embraces the disruptive forces of blockchains and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Designed as a primary text for courses on art law, law and the visual arts, cultural property law, or cultural heritage law, the three-part framework of this highly readable casebook explores artists’ rights under copyright, trademark, right of publicity, moral rights, and the First Amendment; art markets including the law of galleries, dealers, auctions, and museums; and the legal issues surrounding international preservation of art and cultural property, including smuggling and theft in peacetime, looting and plundering in wartime, and protection of native and indigenous peoples’ art.

New to the Third Edition:

  • As stated by the author of the introduction, Jane Ginsburg of Columbia Law School says,
    • “The tremendous sweep of this casebook takes in the manifold fields that the apparently simple name ‘Art Law’ implicates. From ‘What is Art?’ through the different kinds of intellectual property encompassed within artists’ rights, through censorship and freedom of expression to the many permutations of the art market, and on to international and domestic protections of cultural property, the casebook enmeshes the student in an extraordinary variety of fascinating, and often intractable, legal issues. The current edition not only generally updates its predecessor but adds such cutting-edge digital matters as NFTs (which unsettle some notions of “what is art,” and pervade the gamut of IP issues), the role of artificial intelligence in the creation of works of art, and the impact of deepfakes on the right of publicity.”
  • The Third Edition explores how NFTs and the market for digital art has changed how artists, collectors, and the general public view and interact with the art world. NFTs have disrupted the calculation of what is art and who is an artist and challenge the centuries old systems of valuation of art even though they apply the same basic factors of scarcity, provenance (authenticity), attribution to a particular artist, popularity, historical significance, and potential for growth in value.
  • NFTs and metaverse have thrust an entirely new class of creators and content owners into a crypto community that disfavors law and champions copying. NFTs have made digital art a popular and expensive art investment, but this pushes to the forefront the uncomfortable uncertainties of how the law treats digital works under the copyright first sale doctrine.
  • NFTs now enable American artists to list and sell art works linked to smart contracts that set a rate for the payment of resale royalties and can issue a royalty payment whenever these art works are resold on an exchange that supports the payment of royalties for transactions on the blockchain where the art is registered.
  • The text also explores how deep fakes and AI rendering technologies have created new issues regarding unauthorized uses in false endorsement situations and lookalike avatars and profile pictures (PFPs).

Professors and students will benefit from:

  • A very current text covering the real world and metaverse art world of the 2020s
  • A rich collection of illustrations from and about the cases and issues
  • PowerPoints that cover each case, topic, and subtopic
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Third Edition
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