3 Count: Appropriation Art

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1: Jeff Koons, Centre Pompidou Lose Appeal on French Fashion Ad Plagiarism Suit

First off today, Alex Greenberger at ARTnews reports that, in France, artist Jeff Koons has lost an appeal in a case filed by photographer Franck Davidovici over one of Koons’ pieces of “appropriation art”.

The lawsuit began in 2015 when Davidovici filed a lawsuit against both Koons and the Centre Pompidou gallery over the Koons sculpture Fait d’hiver. Davidovici claimed that the sculpture was an infringement of a photograph he took that was used in an advertisement for the clothing brand Naf Naf.

In 2018 a lower court found in favor of Davidovici and awarded him €135,000 ($170,000) in damages. Now, the appeals court has upheld that decision and upped the damages the two defendants owe to €190,000 ($230,400).

2: Denuvo Cracker EMPRESS “Arrested”, Blames Repacker FitGirl & Reddit For Witch-Hunt

Next up today, Andy Maxwell at Torrentfreak writes that the games cracker EMPRESS has posted that, thanks to information leaked by fellow pirates, her real information has been leaked and she is being targeted by police.

The announcement is the latest in a long-running feud between EMPRESS, who is well known for cracking complicated game DRM, and FitGirl, a repacker that makes pirated copies of games available for easier distribution. EMPRESS has long accused FitGirl and others of “hogging the spotlight” and getting all the attention when it is her that does the real work.

It is unclear if the allegations made by EMPRESS are actually true, but they represent an extreme level of infighting at the top echelons of the pirate community. This infighting has already resulted in delays for pirated copies to come out and lower-quality releases for several games.

3: China’s Lunar New Year Films Undermined by Piracy Despite State Crackdown

Finally today, Rebecca Davis at Variety reports that, despite a heavy crackdown on piracy in the country, some 35,000 suspected pirate versions of the country’s holiday TV programs are available online.

The data comes from the government-affiliated 12426 Copyright Monitoring Center, which reported that some 35,3000 suspected links to pirated versions of Chinese New Year’s films and TV programs were available online. It went on to claim that this led to an estimated $122 million in box office losses for creators.

The piracy was in spite of a crackdown on pirate recordings that began on February 8. Despite that crackdown and an estimated blocking rate of 95% per day, there were “tens of millions” of such links, resulting in thousands still getting through.

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