Ai Weiwei Sues Volkswagen Over Refugee Artwork
Andrei Mincov's commentary on the original article
This is actually more complicated than it sounds. Because it involves art displayed in public. The question is, was the background chosen to prominently display Weiwei's art for the sake of displaying the art or was it incidental? Clearly, Volkswagen didn't just reproduce Al Weiwei's art simply to create an unauthorized copy of Weiwei's work. There's more to the ad. But was the use incidental or did it go too far? And should it matter that Volkswagen has deep pockets and made a lot of money selling the car for the purpose of establishing whether the use of Weiwei's art constitutes copyright infringement? What will probably happen is now that Weiwei's made a big deal out of the story, Volkswagen will come up with a reasonable settlement offer, and the whole story will go away. We'll see.