The Fine Art of Rummaging: Successors and the Life Cycle of Copyright

The Research Handbook on Art and Law (Jani McCutcheon & Fiona McGaughey eds., Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd., 2019, Forthcoming)

St. John's Legal Studies Research Paper No. 19-0028

23 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2019 Last revised: 8 Jul 2019

See all articles by Eva E. Subotnik

Eva E. Subotnik

St. John's University School of Law

Date Written: June 17, 2019

Abstract

This chapter argues that a possible justification for the extension of copyright beyond the death of the author is the key role that copyright successors may serve in the life cycle of artistic works. In particular, with respect to an artist’s unpublished work, a time-sensitive decision must be made about whether or not to keep the physical artifacts associated with copyrights—an obligation that often falls to these successors. Bulky canvases, sketches, negatives, and myriad other items must be sifted through in order to separate the wheat from the chaff. In this way, the post-death cleanup period offers a once-in-a-lifetime event in which copyright successors can serve a socially valuable function.

Keywords: Visual Art, Photograph, Unpublished, Copyright, Estate, Successor

Suggested Citation

Subotnik, Eva E., The Fine Art of Rummaging: Successors and the Life Cycle of Copyright (June 17, 2019). The Research Handbook on Art and Law (Jani McCutcheon & Fiona McGaughey eds., Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd., 2019, Forthcoming) ; St. John's Legal Studies Research Paper No. 19-0028. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3405536

Eva E. Subotnik (Contact Author)

St. John's University School of Law ( email )

8000 Utopia Parkway
Jamaica, NY 11439
United States
718-990-3296 (Phone)

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
28
Abstract Views
175
PlumX Metrics