Not long ago I wrote about the rather strange case of Jeff Koons balloon dogs. Koons has built much of his artistic reputation around the creative reuse of other peoples copyrighted work. So it was rather surprising to find him initiated a copyright violation case. The case is obviously strange because Koons’ work is basically a hard copy of the traditional balloon dog made by any clown with a long balloon.
Koons’ lawyers have now backed off and decided not to go forward under the condition that the objects were not sold as “Koons’ dog” – which they were not doing even prior to receiving the legal letter. Park Life writes:
Bloggers largely scoffed at the threat, but Park Life decided not to just sit around and see if Mr. Koons would sue. On January 20, its lawyer, Jedediah Wakefield of Fenwick and West, working pro bono, sued Jeff Koons LLC in San Francisco federal court, asking the court to declare that Park Life wasn’t infringing on Mr. Koons’s i rights. “They very quickly indicated they weren’t interested in putting up a fight,” Mr. Wakefield said of Mr. Koons’s lawyers. Ultimately, Jeff Koons LLC agreed not to pursue the gallery for the sale of the bookends, and the gallery agreed not to indicate that the bookends were by Mr. Koons, which, Mr. Wakefield added, “they hadn’t done and weren’t going to do anyway.” As a result of the deal, he said, he was planning to file on Thursday for a dismissal of the declaratory judgment suit.