The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Andy Warhol’s silkscreen portrait of Prince infringed on photographer Lynn Goldsmith’s copyright, NBC News reports. The court’s 7-2 decision, authored by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, noted that Warhol’s work did not constitute “fair use” as both images held the same commercial purpose: to accompany magazine articles about Prince. Pitchfork has reached out to the Andy Warhol Foundation and Lynn Goldsmith for comment.
Warhol created a brightly colored treatment of Goldsmith’s 1981 black and white photograph for Vanity Fair’s November 1984 issue; it was published with permission from Goldsmith. However, different unlicensed images were created by Warhol and published in the magazine’s 2016 Prince tribute. The Andy Warhol Foundation authorized their publication, and Goldsmith wasn’t credited.
Goldsmith and the Warhol Foundation sued each other in 2017, and in 2019, a federal judge ruled in the foundation’s favor. At the time, the judge claimed that Warhol’s work was transformative. In 2021, an appeals court ruled in Goldsmith’s favor, prompting the Warhol Foundation to seek a Supreme Court review.