Partner Megan Noh, co-chair of the Art Law practice, recently penned an article for the Columbia Journal of Law & the Arts examining the nuances of the copyrightability of artwork, an exploration flowing from her experience representing an art collector and several art dealers in the ongoing lawsuit filed by artist Cady Noland in relation to the restoration of her sculpture, "Log Cabin."

In the action (currently pending in the Southern District of New York) Noland has sought to disavow the work. On behalf of her clients, Noh has argued that Noland is not entitled to do so, since the work is not eligible for protection under the Visual Artists Rights Act, for which a prerequisite is copyrightability, and the Copyright Office has repeatedly denied registration for "Log Cabin."

Using the "Log Cabin" controversy as a springboard, Noh's article "probes the conflict between the values and objectives underlying moral rights versus the 'dominant,' economic theory of pre-existing copyright law," arguing that the rationale for limiting the scope of copyrightable works eligible for exclusive rights under Section 106 does not logically justify the denial of attribution and integrity rights under Section 106A for the single, original copy of an artwork recognized by the relevant community.

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Originally published 5 May, 2020

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