$16,599 of $200,000 goal

Raised by 213 people in 22 months
PLEASE NOTE:  ANY MONEY BEYOND THE PAYMENT OF LEGAL FEES WILL BE DONATED TO ARTIST RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS WHO AID IN PROTECTING THE COPYRIGHT OF PHOTOGRAPHERS - if 100,000 photographers and other visual artists in the United States were to donate $5 each, as that is the minimum amount GOFUNDME can accept, we would have the $500,000 needed to take this to the Supreme Court for consideration. It will take this amount in legal costs to keep dealing with the appeals the Warhol Foundation has made it clear they will continue to make should they lose.  I will also appeal if I lose. There needs to be case law to protect our work
from others 'taking' it without our permission.  I did not start this lawsuit, however it has put me in the position to clarify the copyright law so that no future creators who copyright their work will ever have to battle for their rights against deep pocketed artists, businesses, or even foundations. 
Keep in mind that this can happen to you : Being sued by an incredibly rich person or organization where they know it will cost you a lot to defend yourself and so they expect you will just hand over your copyright.  It's time for us to STAND TOGETHER AND SHOW THE COURTS, and the world that we will not be intimidated
The Andy Warhol Foundation is suing me seeking a federal court declaration that they have not infringed my copy right on my 1981 studio portrait of the iconic musician Prince. In turn, I have filed a counterclaim against the Foundation for copyright infringement. I feel the issue at stake concerns whether a copyright owner's rights can be trampled on in the name of fine art. Where is the line drawn? If someone is very famous, can they just 'take' your work and say it is their art? The Warhol Foundation is relying on the "fair use" part of the copyright law, to try and broaden the interpretation of what is "transformative" and thus never be sued. There are a number of artists from Jeff Koons to Richard Prince who have taken photographs created by others that are copyright protected, in many cases do little if anything to change them, and then claim the 'work' as their creation. I feel that if I don't take this legal battle on, it can mean every photographer, even though their image should be protected by the copyright laws, will not be able to protect rights to that which they have created. In their lawsuit against me, the Foundation included false statements about how I was trying to 'extort' money from them. They presented a number of "untruths." That was very upsetting to me, however my real motivation to put time, money and effort into this battle is because in my opinion if "artists" can just take the work of photographers, make minimal changes and sell it commercially as theirs, as well as license the work...what is the point of the copyright law?

The lawyers for the Warhol Foundation made it clear at a recent court conference that the Foundation has no interest in ever settling this matter, and that even if I were to win in the lower courts they will keep on appealing. They will never settle. They want this to be CASE LAW.  I believe they think the amount of money this legal battle will cost can frighten me from taking a stand. This battle could go all the way to the Supreme Court. That can cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some photographer has to fight this battle NOW or the unauthorized taking of copyright protected images will continue. So, though I am at an age where time is the most valuable commodity in my life, I know in my heart I have to take this on and to use my energy to get every photographer, every photo organization, and photo magazine to help in the protection of that which we create. I will not capitulate just because the Warhol Foundation has deep pockets and can scare off artists with claims against them due to costly legal fees.

I need every photographer's support in this. We have to galvanize and take a stand. With a $5 donation by any visual artist who wants to protect their work from being taken without their permission,  I believe that together we can win this

Funds are needed now so that we can make sure photographers’ rights in what they create are protected by the law.

Your support is meaningful for all visual artists now and in the future. Please join me in this crusade. Every dollar is meaningful.

It will show we will stand together as creators to make sure there is CASE LAW which protects us.
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I want to thank you all for continued support. It has been over one year since The Warhol Foundation filed a lawsuit against me for the studio portrait I made of of Prince in 1981. We are now at what is called the summary judgment. This is where each side will make motions. There will be 2 to 3 briefs allowed for each side, and the first main moving papers will likely not be due until sometime in September. The initial papers will be extensive, and will include a supporting Declaration from me, the expert witness report, and his select deposition testimony, as well as other extensive witness deposition testimony and exhibits. There will also be a Statement of Uncontested Facts that each side must submit, and a detailed memoranda of law (briefs). Each side will then file briefs and possibly additional evidence in opposition to the other side’s motion. The judge may also permit a third set of reply briefs.
Once all the papers are filed, which may not be until November, the judge will likely schedule an oral argument. All of this legal work is costly and I hope that if you appreciate why I am fighting this battle and countersuing that you will talk about it with others in the arts. If we don't stand to fight for our rights - we can lose them. This is a pivotal time in our history where each person needs to come to terms with how they as individuals can influence not only their own future, but the future of others. Again many thanks for the support I have been getting -
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Though they got some of the facts incorrect - they got the point - I hope you will watch and continue to come to this page for updates on the case. I really appreciate all contributions and words of support - already spent $200,000 of my own money and this will go on -- if I lose, not only do I lose everything I have worked the past 50 years for, but all visual artists will lose - especially photographers ... what will be the point of education in photography, cost of equipment, cost of studio and employees if you can't make a living from what you have created ??? Not enough was done to stop climate change when we had the opportunity - we are at a moment in time where we have to stand together and stand strong to protect ourselves and others for the future - much less the present!
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Asking for contributions is a way to show copyright holders that the rights to their work must be respected. The more who give here sends a message to those who think they can take our work for their own benefit. We need to stand together.
Important Message for all Visual Artists
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There is not a copyright and fair use doctrine that applies to famous, wealthy artists and a different one for other artists - it should not matter that it is Andy Warhol - if the community of visual artists does not stand behind me and help me to fight this battle - all artists of the future lose, much less current copyright holders -- please read to understand more fully what they are trying to do by suing me -- their lawyer actually says what he wants to make 'new law' -- we have to stand and fight! please share this with others
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$16,599 of $200,000 goal

Raised by 213 people in 22 months
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