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  • Ashley Baker

CFJ Files Amicus Brief in Warhol Foundation v. Goldsmith

Media Inquiries: Ashley Baker;

Brief of Amicus Curiae the Committee for Justice as Amicus Curiae in Support of Respondents


Copyright protections serve to vindicate the fundamental civil right that authors have to the fruits of their labors. This is how the Founders understood it at the time they enacted the Constitution with its Copyright Clause, and this is how this Court has understood it ever since. Yet the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts (“the Warhol Foundation”) wants to change this accepted understanding of the Copyright Clause by replacing it with a utilitarian-based regime that would fail to uphold an author’s rights to the extent that doing so would stifle creativity. While the fair use doctrine is an affirmative defense to copyright infringement, the Warhol Foundation is proposing an interpretation of it that is as unprecedented as it is radical. The Warhol Foundation asks this Court to hold that anytime an author reproduces someone else’s original work in its entirety, but superimposes his own subjective interpretation upon it, the new work is transformative under the fair use doctrine. But neither the text of the Copyright Clause, nor the history of copyright law, nor this Court’s precedent can support such a reading. This Court should reject such a radical interpretation of the fair use doctrine and affirm the Second Circuit’s conclusion that Warhol’s Prince Series infringed on Goldsmith’s right to the fruits of her labor in creating her photograph of Prince...


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