Art
4,218 Hypes 0 Comments

Artist SMASH 137 Sues GM over Copyright Infringement for Cadillac Ad

If General Motors wins this legal battle “copyright protection for millions of artworks would be lost.”

Last January, Swiss artist Adrian Falkner, popularly known as SMASH 137, filed a lawsuit against General Motors after the automaker featured one of his commissioned Detroit murals without permission in a Cadillac XT5 advertisement back in 2016. The ad, shared across the company’s social media accounts, is part of a campaign entitled “Art of the Drive” that spotlighted the XT5 crossover vehicle parked beside Falkner’s mural. The artist expressed in a motion that GM purposely hid his signature on the mural by capturing the car from a particular angle.

GM responded by filing a motion this past June, asserting that the artwork qualifies under the Architectural Work exception in U.S. law that allows photographers to snap pictures of monumental structures such as the Washington Monument, Seattle Space Needle, and the Empire State Building in New York City among others. This motion discredits Falkner’s piece, exempts the work from any copyright protection and claims that the building is a significant structure, when in fact, it’s an ordinary parking garage in downtown Detroit.

graffiti artist smash 137 general motors copyright infringement legal battles lawsuits murals library street collective campaigns advertisements artworks

This week, Falkner and his counsel Jeff Gluck filed an opposition motion with the artist demanding compensation over the unpermitted ad. The issue is currently pending before a federal court judge in California.

“Nearly all street art and outdoor murals are placed on buildings. If courts were to accept General Motors’ reasoning, copyright protection for millions of artworks would be lost and it would leave a devastating impact on artists’ rights,” says Gluck. “The moral implications are impossible to ignore. We will fight this relentlessly.”

This legal battle harks back to a series of recent cases where big corporations use artists’ works without their permission such as graffiti artist-duo KEPTIONE and DJ RAKUS versus Oakley. If GM succeeds in this case, outdoor murals would be free to use by companies to sell their products.

Let us know your thoughts on this case and stay tuned for updates.

Read Full Article

What to Read Next

Look Inside Banksy’s Highly Anticipated “Greatest Hits” Exhibition
Art 

Look Inside Banksy’s Highly Anticipated “Greatest Hits” Exhibition

Organized by his former art dealer.

130,000 Unseen Photos of Andy Warhol Will Be Made Public
Art

130,000 Unseen Photos of Andy Warhol Will Be Made Public

Rare visuals of the legendary artist’s private life.

Wes Anderson's Curatorial Debut Includes Mummies, Crown Jewels & Other Art Treasures
Art

Wes Anderson's Curatorial Debut Includes Mummies, Crown Jewels & Other Art Treasures

The filmmaker’s new Vienna exhibition will be “an embarrassment of riches.”

Yayoi Kusama Announces Major New Exhibition in London
Art

Yayoi Kusama Announces Major New Exhibition in London

Featuring a specially-designed large ‘Infinity Room Mirror.’

Prodip Leung x How2work Join Forces Again for "Plants of Gods II" Terrarium Sculpture
Art

Prodip Leung x How2work Join Forces Again for "Plants of Gods II" Terrarium Sculpture

Limited to 100 pieces.


Best Art Drops: Punk Ceramics, Kevin Lyons x Nike Running Tees & More
Art 

Best Art Drops: Punk Ceramics, Kevin Lyons x Nike Running Tees & More

Including new limited prints from celebrated visual artists, Evan M. Cohen and Taj Francis.

Takashi Murakami: The Sleepless Artist
Art 

Takashi Murakami: The Sleepless Artist

Exploring the artist’s rise from the bottom of the slope to becoming king of the hill.

MOCA Will Pay Tribute to Lifestyle Label 69 With Immersive Exhibit
Art

MOCA Will Pay Tribute to Lifestyle Label 69 With Immersive Exhibit

Titled “69: Déjà Vu.”

These Iconic Jean Prouvé Prefabricated Homes Will be Exhibited in Marseille
Art

These Iconic Jean Prouvé Prefabricated Homes Will be Exhibited in Marseille

Titled “Jean Prouvé North-South – In Praise of Simplicity.”

Nick Knight Crafts 'Pixelated Samba' Sculptures
Art

Nick Knight Crafts 'Pixelated Samba' Sculptures

Available to bid now on eBay.

More ▾
 
We got you covered. Don’t miss out on the latest news by signing up for our newsletters.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
We got you covered. Don’t miss out on the latest news by signing up for our newsletters.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Looks like you’re using an ad-blocker

We charge advertisers instead of our readers. Support us by whitelisting our site.

Whitelist Us

How to Whitelist Us

screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlock icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Under “Pause on this site” click “Always”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlock Plus icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Block ads on – This website” switch off the toggle to turn it from blue to gray.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlocker Ultimate icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Switch off the toggle to turn it from “Enabled on this site” to “Disabled on this site”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the Ghostery icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Click on the “Ad-Blocking” button at the bottom. It will turn gray and the text above will go from “ON” to “OFF”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the UBlock Origin icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Click on the large blue power icon at the top.
  3. When it turns gray, click the refresh icon that has appeared next to it or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the icon of the ad-blocker extension installed on your browser.You’ll usually find this icon in the upper right-hand corner of your screen. You may have more than one ad-blocker installed.
  2. Follow the instructions for disabling the ad blocker on the site you’re viewing.You may have to select a menu option or click a button.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.