Artist Sues Author Over Use Of Wall St Bull Image

The artist who created Wall Street’s famed “Charging Bull” statue sued Random House and the authors of a recently released book on the collapse of investment bank Lehman Brothers over their use of an image of the bull.

Wait, you mean you can’t do that . . . ?

Dow Jones Excerpt:

On Wednesday, artist Arturo Di Modica filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, alleging the book, “A Colossal Failure of Common Sense: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothers,” uses an unauthorized image of the bull on its dust jacket.

The nearly 7,000-pound sculpture was placed unannounced in front of the New York Stock Exchange in 1989 and was soon moved to Bowling Green in lower Manhattan, where it has been on “temporary” display for 17 years. It has become a popular stop for tourists.

Di Modica has previously said he was inspired by the 1987 stock market crash to create a sculpture “that would encourage young people to rebound and help put American business back on track.” He registered a copyright on the bull in 1998 and has previously brought legal action over the unauthorized use of the bull’s image.

His Web site proclaims Di Modica “sculptor of the world famous bronze ‘Charging Bull'” and promises to soon have a “Charging Bull Gift Shop,” a 360-degree view of the sculpture and other features related to the bull.

My Superagent/Lawyer, Lloyd Jassin, emails me: “It’s a teachable moment. Pig parody = transformative fair use, i.e., a socially productive use looked upon favorably by copyright law. Used for a different purpose than original. Bull cover = infringement.” (see this on Fair Use)

Thank goodness for Derivative Works copyright rules! The pig pull is obviously protected as Parody.


Now that I look at the two covers side by side, not only did they violate the Copyright of the bull sculptor, it really looks like they  did a nice job “imitating” the layout of my cover!



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