LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Gregory Timothy Victoroff | Feb 28, 2017

THE FINE ART OF FILM: VISUAL ART APPEARING IN MOVIES, TV AND MULTIMEDIA WORKS

A rash of highly-publicized lawsuits and a recent Second Circuit opinion have sent a clear message to attorneys advising clients in the film, T.V. and multimedia industries that using copyrighted visual art (paintings, photographs, sculptures, posters, toys, etc.) as props or set decorations in movies or other audiovisual works without permission may constitute copyright infringement, be beyond the limits of “fair use” and trigger costly federal copyright litigation. Producers of television, video, motion picture and multimedia works (collectively “Audiovisual Works”) as well as film and T.V. distributors, video game developers, art directors, production designers and their attorneys and insurers should take note of the following practical suggestions, licensing guidelines and analysis of published and unpublished court opinions interpreting an array of state and federal statutes protecting works of visual art.

Additional resources provided by the author

Victoroff, Greg, Artwork Used in Motion Pictures, Television and Video, Graphic Artist;s Guild, Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines, (2013, 14th Ed.)

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