1MDB Scandal and How It Demonstrates the Need for Greater Anti-Money Laundering Protections in the Art Industry

With legislation that would extend the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) to dealers in art and antiques being contemplated by Congress, it is important to highlight to dangers money laundering poses to the art market. The Illicit Art and Antiques Trafficking Prevention Act (HR 5886) (“Act”), proposed in Congress in May, would apply the BSA to the art market with the aim of deterring money laundering in the industry. The Act would require U.S… Read More

“We’ve been Banksy-ed”: Intellectual Property Ramifications of Self-Destructing Art

On Friday night, October 5, 2018, attendees at Sotheby’s Auction House in London, got quite the surprise.  Moments after being sold for $1.4 million (£1,042,000) to the highest bidder, the painting, “Girl with Balloon,” proceeded to self-destruct.  The artist, Banksy, took credit for the stunt, posting the phrase “Going, going, gone…” on his Instagram page.  He also left a video, explaining, “a few years ago I secretly built a shredder into a painting…in case it was.. Read More

A New Forum: The Guelph Treasure Decision and its Impact on Jurisdiction of U.S. Courts over Restitution Claims for Nazi-Looted Art

Throughout the latter half of the 20th century and continuing to the present day, survivors and heirs of victims of the Holocaust have come forward to claim artworks in public and private collections around the world that were seized by the Nazis or were sold under duress by owners in dire need of escaping occupied countries. This arena has been characterized by conflicts over whether U.S. courts have jurisdiction over claims against sovereign.. Read More

Richard Prince, Copyright, and Appropriation Art: A Personal Perspective on Graham v. Prince , 265 F.Supp.3d 366 (S.D.N.Y. 2017)

The purpose of Copyright Law as enumerated by the United States Constitution is to “promote the progress of Science and useful Arts.” Artistic works are protected by copyright so that artists will be incentivized to keep creating. Appropriation art is a style in which the artist takes an existing object and uses it with little to no transformation. Appropriation art seems antithetical to copyright’s original purpose because there is a lesser incentive to.. Read More