Goldsmith did a photoshoot of Prince in 1981.
In 1984, Vanity Fair licensed one of her black-and-white studio portraits for $400 and commissioned Warhol to create a piece for a feature of Prince. He used a cropped photo based on one of Goldsmith’s images to create his artwork.
The photographer became aware of the use of her photograph in 2016 when Prince died, and the Andy Warhol Foundation licensed the use of Warhol’s “Prince Series” to use in a magazine commemorating his life.
There was no image copyright credit or compensation to Lynn Goldsmith.
The photographer threatened to sue the Foundation alleging copyright infringement. In April 2017 the Andy Warhol Foundation sued Goldsmith for a declaration of non-infringement.
She countersued for copyright infringement declaring that the paintings weren’t transformative.
In July 2019 a District Judge in Manhattan stated that Warhol’s works were of fair use, but in March 2021, a three-judge panel in the New York Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, reversed the ruling and sided with Goldsmith.
In May 2021 the Andy Warhol Foundation ﬁled a petition with the Supreme Court to decide “whether a work of art is transformative when it conveys a different meaning or message from its source material”.
The Supreme Court heard an oral argument in October 2022 and a decision from the court is expected in May or June 2023.