What a Bunch of Bull

Do the rights of artists extend beyond the physical spaces that their creations take up? A court of law might have to answer that question in an odd case taking place in New York City.

From USA Today, April 12, 2017:

“”Charging Bull” is ready to rumble with “Fearless Girl.”

The sculptor who created the iconic “Charging Bull” statue in New York City’s financial district says the city and an investment company violated his rights by installing the newly popular “Fearless Girl” statue near his creation without permission for what amounts to a commercial ad campaign. . .

. . . Di Modica’s copyright on his sculpture would last for his lifetime, plus 70 years, said David Shipley, a professor at the University of Georgia School of Law. Similarly, the artist’s trademark on the “Charging Bull” would remain in effect as long as Di Modica keeps it registered and in use, said Oliver Chernin, one of the sculptor’s lawyers.

Nonetheless, “it’s a stretch to say that his copyright extends to the radius around where the artwork was placed,” said Shipley.”

Does the creator of the “Charging Bull” statue have a valid case, or is his complaint just a bunch of bull?

One Christian Perspective on Hell
Weekend Caption Contest™ Winners Week of April 14 2017
  • Retired military

    We have concerns of war on the Korean peninsula, congress’s inability to pass healthcare or tax cut packages, 90+ million on food stamps and unemployed, $20T in debt, and a myriad of other problems yet we talk about the significant representations of 2 statues, a girl and a bull.

    The amount of inane BS I have read about the girl and the bull shows that maybe we just need to nuke it all and start all over.

    • Brett Buck

      Hit the nail on the head there. The only thing you missed was the left and associated globalism dying, and trying to cause maximum destruction before they go.

      These obsession with utter and completely trivial non-issues is a symptom of a really disturbing lack of focus.

      • Hank_M

        “These obsession with utter and completely trivial non-issues is a symptom of a really disturbing lack of focus.”

        That nicely sums up the obama years.

    • pennywit

      The amount of inane BS I have read about the girl and the bull shows that maybe we just need to nuke it all and start all over.

      Kim already tried that. It fizzled on the launch pad.

  • I’m waiting for the ‘farmer leaning against fence’ between the bull and the girl to be erected…
    (farmer on the girl side of the fence)

    • Retired military

      If it is a Mexican farmer than it would be okay. Other wise it will be called racist and mysoganistic since the farmer would seem to be protecting the girl from the bull when we all know that the bull is no match for the girl..

      BTW shouldn’t the girl be wearing a hijab?

    • jim_m


      That would put an end to the whole thing. Or better yet, make a new beginning of one-upmanship that makes the art works even more famous and more of an attraction.

      • Like a little pile of brass poop under the girl….

  • pennywit

    I can understand why the artist is annoyed — he feels like his art is being co-opted by someone else’s message. Moreover, that “someone else” is a rather large-ish hedge fund. If I’m a guerilla artist, I’d be kind of ticked.

    But a legal claim? Unless the artist can cough up a use permit that gives him exclusive right to display sculpture and statuary in an area that encompasses Fearless Girl’s placement … I don’t see it.

  • yetanotherjohn

    I would ask who owns the copyright. The only case I can think of is if the artist owns the copyright that they are now making an impermissible satire or derivative work. You can take a limited amount without violating copyright (e.g. a line from a book or a couple of notes from a song), but as this is taking the entire statue it could be considered taking to much.
    At the end of the day, no matter what the legal rights actually are, the only ones I see as benefiting would be the lawyers.

  • jim_m

    By that reasoning an artist could dictate the entire contents of the gallery their work are displayed in. It’s just more whiny SJW BS. He wants a safe space to put up his work. He wants to have his speech heard and no on else should be allowed to offer a counterpoint.

    I think the girl statue is stupid, but it isn’t actionable in any way.

  • Brian Brandt

    Back in the days before I retired and bought a car with Sirius XM, I used to listen to NPR on my morning commute.

    Yeah, I know it’s a liberal mouthpiece, but my interest in modern music ended back in the early ’60s, and the local American Songbook station converted to ‘sports talk.’

    But I digress.

    Anyway, one day a week they always had a segment on ‘Art News.’ They would go on and on about controversial subjects such as Serrano’s ‘Piss Christ,’ which if you’re not totally up on your modern art, is a picture Christ on the cross dunked in a glass of the ‘artist’s’ wizz. It won a visual arts competition that was sponsored in part by the National Endowment for the Arts (A.K.A., us taxpayers). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piss_Christ

    They also mentioned ‘Artist’s Shit,’ which as titles go is pretty self-explanatory. The ‘artist,’ an Italian gentleman, put up 60 little cans of his poop and sold them to people. It’s great art, and getting more valuable all the time because build-up of gas has caused some of the cans to explode. These are things that can only really be appreciated by very sophisticated intellectuals, and not by the us ordinary people. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artist%27s_Shit

    So after listening to these stories on NPR for a while, I decided that I just didn’t have what it takes to be fully invested in the art scene, and when I hear another story like the one about the bull and the little girl I simply chaulk it up as –

    Another brouhaha in The World of Art!