The United States Supreme Court has released its opinion on The Andy Warhol Foundation v. Goldsmith case, finding in favor of Lynn Goldsmith and stating that Warhol’s use of her photo was not fair use. From a report: For those unfamiliar, the Warhol v. Goldsmith case has been ongoing for several years and involves photographer Lynn Goldsmith’s photo of Prince and Andy Warhol’s use of that photo which his Foundation argues was fair use. The details of the case to this point can be read in prior coverage, but in summary, Goldsmith had been victorious in the most recent court’s decision leading up to this point. The Andy Warhol Foundation had appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, who has affirmed the lower court’s decision and sealed Goldsmith’s win.
In an 87-page [PDF], seven-to-two opinion written by Justice Sotomayor, the Supreme Court has ruled that Warhol’s use of Goldsmith’s Prince photo was not transformative enough to warrant fair use and was instead a violation of her copyright. Justices Roberts and Kagan dissented. “Although new expression, meaning, or message may be relevant to whether a copying use has a sufficiently distinct purpose or character, it is not, without more, dispositive of the first factor,” the court holds. “The ‘purpose and character’ of Andy Warhol Foundation’s (AWF) use of Goldsmith’s photograph in commercially licensing Orange Prince to Conde Nast does not favor AWF’s fair use defense to copyright infringement.”