March 2010

Mass Moca Loses to Büchel Under VARA

by Lee Gesmer on March 10, 2010

Mass Moca Loses to Büchel Under VARA

Nice post title, eh?  Mass MoCA is the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation a contemporary art museum in North Adams, MA.  Christoph Büchell is a Swiss “installation artist.”  Think very large, very avant-garde.  The New York Times describes his work “dense, fraught creations, which compress masses of material and objects into historically charged labyrinthine environments through which viewers walk, climb and crawl.”   Wow.  Sounds just right for good old, left-leaning western Mass.  Not.

VARA is the Visual Artists Rights Act, a section of the U.S. Copyright Statute that gives grants artists “moral rights.”   For example, part of the law provides that the author of a “visual work” has –

the right to prevent the use of his or her name as the author of the work of visual art in the event of a distortion, mutilation, or other modification of the work which would be prejudicial to his or her honor or reputation

The First Circuit held that the Museum violated this right when, after installation of a work that called for, among other things, according to the Times, “a burnt-out fuselage of a 737 airliner” it displayed the work without the artist’s consent.  … Read the full article

My firm's Client Advisory on Massachusetts Data Security Regulations, Which Took Effect (at long last) on March 1st

My partner Joe Laferrera has been incredibly active in connection with the Massachusetts Data Security Regulations, which took effect on March 1, 2010 after multiple delays (initial deadline was January 1, 2009; second deadline May 1, 2009; third deadline January 1, 2010).

Among other things, Joe has co-chaired the Boston Bar Association Privacy Committee last year and this, and organized what seems like countless programs on the regulations.  He has also spoken to legal and business groups around the country on the topic (example of presentation materials here, and White Paper here).… Read the full article