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Tiger Woods sues Artist

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duey

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Post Tue Aug 08, 2006 1:04 pm

Tiger Woods sues Artist

I started a drawing of Tiger Woods yesterday and I was curious to see what other works of Tiger were online. So I did a Google search for "Tiger Woods Drawings" and this article came up. I thought it was really interesting. I love Tiger but I think it was really unnecessary for him to sue. Doesn't he have enough money?!! What do you guys think about this? Here's the Article:

'Enormous constitutional issues at stake' as top golfer launches lawsuit.

Rick Rush's paintings - faithfully reproduced great sporting scenes - might not be considered great art but no one has ever argued they're not so much art as illegal rip-offs masquerading as art.

No one, that is, except Tiger Woods, who has taken the Alabama-based artist to court, accusing him of exploiting his likeness for unlawful commercial gain.

Sporting commentators would call it a David versus Goliath battle; the small-town painter against the world's richest sportsman. Lawyers and constitutional experts in the US put the court case on an altogether higher plane.

'There are enormous issues at stake about an artist's freedom of speech under the First Amendment of the Constitution,' says one.

'The issue is, can an artist freely create paintings of great athletes in action and then sell them, or must he pay for the right to paint that athlete?'

Standing on the sidelines is an array of other interested parties, from the estates of Frank Sinatra, Jimi Hendrix and Elvis Presley, to the NFL Players' Association and a group of America's most powerful media organisations, including Time magazine and the New York Times.

'Mr Woods's extraordinary accomplishments give rise to many benefits and a few burdens,' the media organisations said last week in a joint statement. 'One of the burdens, we submit, is having to see himself depicted in words and pictures by people who have things to say about him.'

That may be so, responds Woods's lawyer Terence Clark, but what happens when the artist takes that painting, mass-produces it and sells the reproductions to the public? 'When the painting is done and you hang it on the wall, that is probably acceptable... but when you commercialise that person's image or likeness, you cross the line. That's what has happened here.'

The case, which is going through the appeals court system, is the latest in a series of worldwide legal battles over sports memorabilia and the increasingly valuable 'image rights' of celebrities.

Last week a Geneva court ruled incompetent a £1.7 million action by Brazilian footballer Ronaldo against the luxury watchmakers Montego. He claimed the company hadn't pay him royalties on sales of watches bearing his image and his trademark R9. The company counter-claimed for £4.4m damages, citing his injury problems. But the court ruled that the issue centred on a trademark, not a personality.

In Kent, the owners of a memorabilia shop won the right to begin legal action against Victoria Beckham who, they allege, accused them of selling a fake autographed photo of her husband, the England captain David Beckham. The accusations almost ruined the memorabilia company, GT's Recollections, the High Court was told last week.

Woods's legal action dates back to 1998, when Jireh Publishing, a small company based in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and owned by Rick Rush's brother Don, issued a limited-edition print of the artist's painting depicting the golfer winning the 1997 Masters at Augusta. The prints were for sale at $700, along with 5,000 lithographs at $15.

Lawyers for ETW, a company founded by the golfer to control the marketing of his image, invoked what is called rights-of-publicity statutes, which make it illegal for others to profit from an individual's name, likeness or photograph without that individual's permission.

Despite the threat of bankruptcy, the Rush brothers decided to challenge the action, saying it was a fight on behalf of all artists who want to paint public figures at public events. 'I believe these events are in the public domain,' Rick Rush said.

In April 2000 the Federal District Court in Ohio ruled in favour of Jireh Publishing, saying the painting was 'an artist's creation seeking to express a message'.

ETW took the case to the appeal court in Cincinnati. No judgment has yet been issued, but many observers expect the case to go all the way to the Supreme Court for a definitive ruling.

'We need to establish the hugely important principle that artists like Rush - as well as newspaper reporters and magazine writers - can depict or say what they want about celebrity,' said Rush's attorney, Dennis Niermann. 'As Americans that is our consti tutional right. If you throw away that freedom of expression, we might as well live in some communist country where there are rules about what you can and can't say.'

Among those backing Woods is the NFL's Players' Association. 'Can you knock off thousands of copies of the image of Tiger Woods and hide behind the First Amendment and say it is a work of art?', the association's lawyer Bruce S. Meyer asked the New York Times last week.

In a case last year, a court ruled in favour of a company, which owned images of The Three Stooges that appeared on T-shirts without permission. The court said unauthorised use of such images might be protected under the First Amendment under certain circumstances.

Rush's work falls into this category, says Diane Zimmerman, a New York-based academic, who wrote a legal brief on behalf of 73 law professors backing the artist. 'Our shared conviction [is] that the prints in this case are unambiguously fully protected speech over which ETW cannot exercise control,' she said.

By Guardian Unlimited © Copyright Guardian Newspapers 2006
Published: 7/7/2002
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khaebs

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Post Tue Aug 08, 2006 4:15 pm

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Post Tue Aug 08, 2006 4:27 pm

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tbone

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Post Tue Aug 08, 2006 11:38 pm

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ici

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Post Wed Aug 09, 2006 6:57 am

I think its going a bit too far.

I believe artists should be able to paint/draw what they want and who they want. And if they want to sell that artwork or print its theirs to do so.
Why does a celeb think they have rights to that? When their pictures are splashed all over the place. Even those really personal paparatzi pics STILL get printed and sold to magazines and newspapers etc. So why isnt anything done to stop that?

On the other side there are copyright laws in place. I understand that.
I would understand if it were pictures that were taken and being copied and sold, but a painting that was created from scratch by an artist, I would think the artist holds the copyright to it and its prints, But obviously not.

Oh well we are all entitled to different opinions

:)
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Post Wed Aug 09, 2006 12:25 pm

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ici

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Post Thu Aug 10, 2006 11:57 am

Not sure if Ive heard it before i just assumed this would be the case seeing the artist created it with their own hands from scratch.
Will prob have to read more into it though.
Dont want anyone getting sued
:)
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arsdelicata

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Post Sat Aug 19, 2006 3:06 pm

I side with the painter.

From what I have read, Tiger is a public figure, even my mother tells me how cool he looks when he wins and kisses his trophy.

I feel is perfectly fine to take what the media feeds us and interpret it, then sell it back to the masses as "Our Version".

So, tiger is doing product endorsment ? right? I thought so just because I think I have seen him doing comercials of some sort? But they are selling his video image to the masses on TV. So maybe now he wants to sell exclusive photos paintings or prints of himself? maybe, but the artist has a right to sell to the world, their interpretation of TW.

Some events sell their Video rights and ban videos at a performance.
But what if you create a painting of your experience at the performance, totally justified to me.

It may be wise to see how Andy worhol got the images of Campbell soup cans, and Marylin Monrow.

I reproduce work from old photos in several ways. One, the drawings of Paso Fino horses from older publications, but these drawings are my interpretation of the older photos, I don't claim to own the older photos, or to have made them, and when asked I will give credit to the source materirial.

I had an issue ( sort of once) at my first art show. the theme was the Paso Fino, and I worked with another artist who did Acrylics and watercolors. For research, I went to a Public fair, on Public grounds, in a small town. The show was free to all spectators, In fact, I even parked my car right up by the show ring fence. I took hundreds of fotos, & like 15 rolls of 35 mm film. officials from the organizing asociassions asked why I was taking pics, and I said, "To place on the internet and to use as referance material for Drawings and Painting. " they welcomed me, and even let me go into the show ring to photograph, along with all the TV reporters and other Photographers. I must say, I felt very welcome.

Only one rider came to me to say I could not photograph there animal to sell to magazines or give to magazines, because they has a "franchise" with this mare. so I said fine, and made a note to mark those particular photos. I did not worry about the law, but just decided that respecting their wishes was the right thing to do.

When the pics were posted on the internet, nobody complained... on the contrary, everyone seems to love the fact they can relive the event after the fact and see themselves & the horses and the show.

I sold copies of the pics to an artist that needed them fro referance, to create Paso Fino type artwork for our show.

So we did the art show, and one lady seemed a tad upset, as one of the watercolors by the other artist had in it a representacion of a girl on a horse, with the uniform she had designed. I could see in her eyes, that she felt her uniform design had been stolen.

here is the reference pic showing the girl and the uniform.



So, the person who designed the uniform felt hurt. & I told them that knowing that now, if the piece was shown again, we would love to mention that the uniform was designed by her. I have absolutely no problem doing that, and I feel it adds to the historical value & acuracy of the painting.
Her eyes brightened and she then bought a couple of drawings, and seem to leave happy.


So who would have thought that the uniform depicted in painting would have been an issue? These things happen, and I recomend working with people to find a truce.

In the case of Tiger woods, I bet he likely never spoke with the artist. But then again, he is a Public figure, with I am sure a whole bunch of lawyers and financial advisers making decitions for him or placing things in his head.

Best wishes to all,
Jo-Ann
Just updated for August 2006
www.arsdelicata.com
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arsdelicata

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Post Sat Aug 19, 2006 3:33 pm

I found some more info,

The painter won...
QUOTE
"Fortunately, a Federal judge eventually dismissed the suit but only after the Rush brothers had spent considerable money defending themselves."

but yup the $$$ factor hurt the artist.

The whole article, with a picture of the painting is here...
Just updated for August 2006
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turbostang_todd

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Post Fri Sep 29, 2006 4:58 pm


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