ERIC Number: EJ1166816
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
The Selfie-Made Man: A Case Study in Law, Ethics, and Instagram
Burgunder, Lee B.
Journal of Legal Studies Education, v33 n2 p181-233 Sum 2016
Richard Prince a well-known appropriation artist, made headlines by pressing ever deeper into the gray areas of art, technology, and the law. Specifically, Prince took screenshots of personal photographs that were publicly displayed on Instagram accounts, included his own comments, enlarged and printed them on large canvases, and displayed them at a New York gallery and art fair. Although a few of the pieces were of celebrities, most of them showed pictures posted by everyday individuals. Beyond the bold fact that Prince's art consisted almost entirely of portraits that he mined from Instagram, some art experts and the subjects themselves were astounded that the pieces sold for tens of thousands of dollars, some reportedly for as much as $90,000. Richard Prince's New Portraits exhibit provides a wonderful vehicle for students to learn about copyrights and personal privacy/publicity rights in a way that will surely interest them. Not only does the topic involve Instagram, which almost all students use, but it provides its lessons with very visual examples that make the concepts easier to grasp. Prince's behavior raises important ethical issues that executives often face with decisions in other contexts. So, in a sense, perhaps Richard Prince has achieved his objective after all--he has helped to open eyes about the roles of law and ethics in today's rapidly changing society.
Descriptors: Photography, Visual Aids, Social Media, Copyrights, Privacy, Ethics, Artists, Case Method (Teaching Technique), Federal Legislation, Court Litigation, Homework, Laws
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
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Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Copyright Law 1976
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