Rebecca Curtin on Fanny Holmes's Impact on Bleistein
In this episode, Rebecca Curtin, Professor of Law at Suffolk University Law School, discusses her article "The Art (History) of Bleistein," which will be published in the Journal of the Copyright Society. Curtin begins by explaining why Justice Holmes's opinion in Bleistein v. Donaldson Lithographing Co., 188 U.S. 239 (1903) is such a landmark of copyright doctrine. She observes that Holmes made many unusual and unnecessary observations about the nature of art in the opinion, and argues that his perspective was influenced by his wife, Fanny Holmes, who was a successful artist, working in the medium of embroidery. She describes Fanny Holmes's work, why it has been largely lost to history, and how it might have affected Holmes's opinion. Curtin's scholarship is available on SSRN.
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