A little while back, Lessig (rightly) praised The Andy Warhol Foundation for their permissive stance on artists re-appropriating Warhol’s media appropriations:
But he didn’t pick up on the fact that they don’t let anyone else use Warhol’s work without the usual licensing fees. Even a book like “Dear Images”, which is an academic work and with its frequent mention of Warhol and appropriation art can only add to the value of Warhol’s ouvre, had to licence its cover image through DACS.
Why have the Foundation taken this position? Warhol appropriated from commerce. Why shouldn’t commerce appropriate from Warhol? What higher moral status are we claiming for art, even anti-art, that this is a one-way door here?
Do read the comments below the Tom Moody weblog entry that Joy links to. Artists seem to view this sort of thing differently to lawyers and legal foundations. 🙂