Friday, May 23, 2014

Martin v. Indianapolis case brief summary

Martin v. Indianapolis
982 F. Supp 625 (1997) 
·         P created sculpture on private land, but owned by his boss
·         Issue: P asserts claim under VARA for destruction.
D’s Arguments for SJ
1.        Not a work of recognized stature. (not defined in VARA)
o    Test for Stature: 1) viewed at meritorious; 2) “recognized” by art experts and member of art community. deters nuisances suits for damaged finger paints
o    Ct held: was stature
2.        Sculpture was advertising and excluded from VARA
o    “work of visual art” does not include any merchandising item or ad,
o    Ct held: not ad
3.        Work made for Hire and excluded under 101
o    D argues employer provided all materials, was in scope of employment
o    R. Agency §228(1) scope of employment test
1.        Kind of work – P claims work is more engineering, and charges fee for artistic abilities on designs
Ct ruled: not work for hire
P’s argument
1.        Author §101
2.        Work of visual art – painting, drawing, print or sculpture, existing in a single copy.
3.        Sculpture was created before VARA but P maintained title
4.        Work of recognized stature – P had recognized status in art community and public
5.        Was intentionally destroyed 17 USC 106A(a)(3)(b) – destruction must be intentional or grossly negligent.
Ruling: court grants P’s MSJ, issue of damages remains

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