Sustainable Prospects PHO704 Week 2: Whose Image is it Anyway?
Appropriation – To take (something) for one’s own use, typically without the owner’s permission. “the accused had appropriated the property” This weeks task was to look at the Landmark Copyright Lawsuit Cariou v. Prince.
This was one of the most important copyright cases of recent times in this it was determined that prince was within his right to re-use slightly modified images taken by Cariou for his 2000 book yes, Rasta. The decision to allow Prince to continue to use the content against the wishes of Cariou is particularly contentious!
It is my opinion that in this circumstance the use of Cariou’s work for Prince’s project was unfair, the work required by Cariou to develop his idea and his intention when creating the work was largely undermined by the alternative interpretation of the work of Cariou by Prince. I don’t imagine my wife would react favourably to me adding additional seasoning, marinades and salt to her freshly prepared meals this level of disregard for the effort required by her to prepare the meal would be in my opinion unreasonable and unfair. An artists work is typically a labour of love and the work required to achieve the constructed portraits of Cariou will have been substantial for prince to then Piggy-back off this work with little regard for the original artist is both unfair and unreasonable
That the court ruled in favour of Prince is something that I struggle to believe but even with his actions being legal this does not make them anymore morally acceptable or correct. Slavery was legal, Apartheid was legal segregation was legal but all of these things were also unethical and in my opinion and the opinion of many wrong!
Throughout history, a number of things, art in particular, have been appropriated and then made more palatable to a larger audience typically with little consideration for the artists responsible for the initial creation of said art. This isn’t something that is likely to change any time soon.