Jeff Koons has historically tended to be on the receiving end of copyright lawsuits – most famously in relation to his puppies sculpture.
However, just before Christmas Koons decided to take the initiative… His lawyers sent a cease and desist letter to Park Life a San Francisco shop for selling balloon dog book ends.
The letter has sparked a great deal of debate across the internet with many finding Koons’ approach somewhat hypocritical given his previous appropriations of other people's copyright work.
A&A has been particularly fascinated by the uncertainty as to the exact monopoly Koons is claiming in balloon images. Are children’s birthday party entertainers at risk of receiving similar letters? The bookend and the Koons sculpture are undoubtedly similar but there does not appear to be evidence that the bookend copied the sculpture – it could so much more easily be based on the balloon animals Koons copied in the first place.
It will be interesting to see if Koons decides to take this further and issue proceedings. At the moment, the shop in question, is being fairly bullish. It initially pulled all references to the balloon dog both in store and online but has now chosen a different tack and the balloon dog appears along with a message: “BALLOON DOG BOOKEND: please call Jeff Koons’ Lawyers.”
You can read more about the case here.
Source: Art Info