Richard Prince Ordered to Destroy Millions of Dollars’ Worth of Paintings

In a somewhat chastening reminder of the fact that being rich and famous doesn’t mean you can get away with anything, Richard Prince has been ordered to destroy a series of paintings that used the work of a French photographer without permission. Prince’s pictures, exhibited in 2008, involved painting onto a series of photos taken from Patrick Cariou’s book Yes, Rasta. Cariou apparently contacted Prince and asked for the works to be withdrawn from sale on the grounds that they were in breach of copyright. When the request was refused, the photographer sued, and this week a federal court ruled in his favor. Prince’s ideas of “rephotographing” have long trod a fine line between reinterpretations/recontextualizations and plain old rip-offs; this time, the judge ruled that his work crossed that line. The verdict is likely to raise questions about the interpretation of “fair use,” and it’ll be interesting to see what its implications are. [via Guardian]