Art Law Report

"Fearless Girl" Sculpture Near Wall Street Prompts Copyright Allegation That is More Bull than Bear

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on March 29, 2017 at 5:06 PM
The sudden appearance near Wall Street on March 8, 2017 of The Fearless Girl, a bronze life-sized depiction of a roughly ten-year old girl staring defiantly at the famous Charging Bull sculpture has prompted headlines throughout the world.  Now, a defender of Charging Bull has leveled an accusation of copyright infringement against the sculptor of The Fearless Girl, an allegation that misapprehends how copyright law affects the interplay between works of visual art.  In short, the recent sculpture is conclusively (1) not infringement of Charging Bull, but even if it were (2) would equally clearly be considered a fair use.  This example from the headlines is thus instructive to review what copyright does, and does not, cover when commentary and political statements are at issue.

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Topics: Copyright Act, Copyright Fair Use, The Fearless Girl, New York Stock Exchange, Charging Bull, Arturo Di Modica, Mr. Robot, Kristen Visbal, International Women’s Day, State Street Global Advisors

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About the Blog


The Art Law Report provides timely updates and commentary on legal issues in the museum and visual arts communities. It is authored by Nicholas M. O'Donnell, partner in our Art & Museum Law Practice.

The material on this site is for general information only and is not legal advice. No liability is accepted for any loss or damage which may result from reliance on it. Always consult a qualified lawyer about a specific legal problem.

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