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This Painting is My Speech, This Painting is Your Speech—Government Scores a Win in Capitol Painting Controversy

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on May 11, 2017 at 10:50 AM

A controversial painting removed from display at the U.S. Capitol will not be returning to display after the U.S. District Court denied a request for an injunction before the exhibition in question came to an end.  While the court acknowledged that St. Louis teenager David Pulphus’s Untitled #1 had been removed based on its viewpoint, it ultimately held that Pulphus was not the one “speaking,” the government was.  As such, it was free to do as it wished.  The court’s opinion carefully considered the factors that determine whether the speaker is the government or a private citizen, but as it acknowledged, the line can be hard to draw.  The opinion has implicationsfor other cases where art in public spaces stirs controversy.

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Topics: Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO), First Amendment, Ferguson Missouri, St. Louis, Dave Reichert, Duncan Hunter, David Pulphus, public forum, government speech, Thomas P. (“Tip”) O’Neill, Jr.

Legislative Update: HR 4103, the “American Royalties Too Act” to be Considered Next Week, Gains Sponsors

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on July 17, 2014 at 6:43 AM

On February 26, 2014, Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) introduced the “American Royalties Too Act”—House Resolution 4103. HR 4103 was referred to the House Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet on March 20, 2014. There was also an “American Royalties Too Act” introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) on the same day.

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Topics: Legislation, Resale Royalties, Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO), Maxine Waters (D-CA), American Royalties Too Act, Chuck Close, Christopher Rauschenberg, droite de suite, Commerce Clause, Julia Halperin, Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), The Art Newspaper, U.S. Senate, Judy Chu (D-CA), HR4103, Louise McIntosh Slaughter (D-NY), Christie's, Ed Pastor(D-AZ), Huffington Post, Intellectual Property and the Internet, Eliot L. Engel([D-NY), Robert Rauschenberg, Mark Pocan (D-WI), Theodore E. Deutch (D-FL), James Moran (D-VA), Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Copyright, Sotheby's, John Lewis (D-GA), and Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Janice Schakowsky (D-IL), House Subcommittee on Courts, Donna M. Christensen, eBay, Sam Farr (D-CA)

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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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