Thursday, June 20, 2013

$31M Lady Gaga Plagiarism Suit

Lady Gaga has a new suit.  This one is not made of meat.
from > Lady Gaga has been accused of plagiarizing from many artistic sources: Canadian-Ukranian artist Taras Polataiko, New York performance artist Colette, and Canadian artist Jana Sterbak, to name a few. But now someone’s finally going the extra step and suing her.
That someone is French artist Orlan, and she’s asking in French court for a whopping $31.7 million, or 7.5 percent of the profits from the Gaga album Born This Way and the video for the song of the same title. Orlan’s suit “accuses the singer of stealing from her to construct the visual universe” of the album, according Artinfo. What does that even mean? Artinfo asked Orlan’s lawyer, Philippe Dutilleul-Francoeur, that very question. He responded:
Not only did Lady Gaga reproduce works by the artist, but she also drew inspiration from her concepts. Orlan’s entire universe of hybridizations was copied in the “Born This Way” album, such as giving birth to oneself, which is seen in Orlan’s photography series “Orlan accouche d’elle-m’aime” (1964-66). The inspiration went too far."

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and here are some of the comments:
Owen: This topic should be taught in colleges. Paul Beck caught some heat for the Radiohead video for the song Nude. The video sampled and reworked war footage and twisted it into a satirical intense animated social commentary. cool video see hear:

  • Bruce nude, Radiohead from paul beck on Vimeo.
    2 hours ago

    "I Love Lucy" episode:20 "Lucy as Sculptress" i954(?) uses the device of Lucy's head projected up through a card table as sculpture to Maria Ambromavic using it as the table decorations for LA MOCA's Gala. Lucy did it first.

    • JDBRD Bruce an hour ago

      Yes, the "head on a table" imagery is not new. I seem to recall a 3 Stooges episode where Curly"s head appears on a platter. Can we draw a distinction between intention? "Comedy" is different than the theme of "re-invention," even though the same imagery is employed. So how many sources does Gaga have to sight and/or award payment to? This is a situation that will only continue to expand. I believe I have a right to use themes and objects that I encounter within a public environment in my work. And, since the internet is now part of my public environment the possibilities for stepping on other's creative toes expands exponentially (with or without my knowledge of those toes.) "Forgery" is absolutely wrong and using this term in this case, I believe, hurts their chances in court. "Pastiche" is not illegal just not considered as interesting as "original" work, but who has ever created something from the vacuum of a mind unexposed to anything else in their environment or history. Perhaps Gaga should pay Orlan something, then Orlan can pay Hieronymous Bosch and his estate can pay whoever it was first told the story of Salome receiving the head of John the Baptist on a platter.... and don't forget Curly.

  • Genee Coreno 11 hours ago

    I think it is important to follow repro- respect. If you are inspired, if you share a large visual component from another artist then you need to ask permission. Same with rights for a production of any theater performance. If you are going to engage with a concept it assumes you are changing and adding and being self reflexive in a way that is obviously critiquing or commenting the piece of art. Gaga didn't credit Orlan. She wasn't saying something new by adding it to her video. I don't know if this was intentional. But Gaga incriminates herself a bit when she discusses the deliberate and intentional nature of her daily performativity. I have sympathy for Orlan. A media outlet like Gaga's is huge. Orlan being an artist spent a lot of time and energy raising the funds to create and present her project in a way only not-for- profit or freelances or individual artists can understand. Often larger media outlets have law on their side when underground artists share/ mix music etc. Its a relief to see Orlan's artistic integrity protected for a change. Pop culture is an artform when used properly can subvert our way of thinking about mainstream media and capitalism- Warhol is a great example. But if Gaga did intentionally take this from Orlan then it feels a bit like 1%- big business exploitation.

  • Shaun Johnson 14 hours ago

    If anyone has ever kept up with Lady Gaga in the media, she has always been very clear about who she is referencing. A big part of her act is the appropriation of pop cultural history. DUH! We have seen her take on Madonna, David Bowie, David Byrne, Leigh Bowery, Queen Elizabeth I, everyone. Orlan, you're a visual artist. Leave the thievery to actual thugs.

  • MaximusNYC 15 hours ago

    A meat dress, a head on a table, facial prosthetics -- none of these are new ideas. Gaga didn't invent them. Neither did Orlan. They were all done by Dadaists and Surrealists in the '20s and '30s... and probably painted by Hieronymous Bosch before that.

  • Mike Jarvis 18 hours ago

    Well if you look at a lot of Orlan's images, it's obvious that she "borrowed" from African tribes people..

  • Yuberniz Yubi Orengo 19 hours ago

    Not insinuating that Gaga is a genius or anything, clever at the most honestly, but they do say "Talent Borrows. Genius Steals". But honestly, this doesn't look like straight up forgery to me, no one would confuse an Orlan piece with a Lady Gaga music video. I honestly think she knew of these concepts, was inspired by them, and used them to market herself and her music successful. I really get the feeling that the artist's are seeing her massive success and wishing for the tons of money she has for using very similar visuals. But, as much as I would honestly want to, call it a forgery. (Granted these are successful artists, but there's a difference between a successful contemporary artist and a household name like Gaga.)

  • Nicole 20 hours ago

    I feel like this legal argument raises a series of questions on the nature of "forgery," regardless of the specifics of Orlan's case. Does the act of forgery necessarily need to be intentional? If, let's say, Gaga came up with her artistic concepts in a vacuum (I have no idea if she was previously aware of Orlan's work but it seems likely that she was) could she still theoretically be a forger? Does forgery imply trying to pass off the work as actually BEING the original, and if so, would that also extend to trying to pass off the work as being actually BY the original artist? Does a successful forgery or reproduction need to achieve a certain high level of resemblance to the original such that, say, a layperson would not be able to tell the difference between forgery and original? If so, I would say that Gaga's works are clearly NOT successful forgeries, as nobody would be likely to actually confuse the two works. They seem to fit more closely within the legally permitted parameters for appropriation in the US. "Forging concepts" seems impossibly vague. Concepts, as opposed to individual works of art or very specific ideas, seem to me to be wide open for interpretation, expansion, or expression by others. That's how human beings communicate.
    I'm very curious to see what other people think, and how this unfolds in court.

    • Helen Glazer Nicole 2 hours ago

      That was what I was thinking, too. I don't see how this meets the legal definition of forgery if she's not trying to pass off the sculptures as the work of Orlan. I thought a forgery was when someone makes a Picasso-like painting, signs it Picasso, and try to sell it to an unwitting buyer as a genuine Picasso.

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