Poopsie 561095 Surprise Dolls – Rainbow Dream or Pixie Rose, Multi

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Poopsie 561095 Surprise Dolls – Rainbow Dream or Pixie Rose, Multi

Poopsie 561095 Surprise Dolls – Rainbow Dream or Pixie Rose, Multi

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How much of all of the music industry stuff, the poop stuff, the Warhol-print stuff — how much does the whole public domain of it all play into this? From my understanding, once anything is 100 years old, anybody can do whatever they wanna do with it anyway, right?

For those who haven’t been following this case, what is Poopsie Slime Surprise and what are its makers arguing? The Supreme Court is currently deliberating on a case similar to this one. Same kind of issues at play, but it involves the estate of Andy Warhol and a photographer who took a classic photo of Prince. Can you tell me about that case? What was the mood like in the room during oral arguments? Can you make any predictions about how the justices will rule? What I hear you saying is “Justice for Olivia Rodrigo. Justice for Warhol. Justice for the ‘My Poops’ Unicorns. Let it all be free.”Both sides have a whole lot to lose in this case. Start with the photographers. Every photographer you’ve ever heard of has said, “This is an existential threat to our profession, because photographers need to be able to get paid for their work, and if you can just take a picture and touch it up and make it look a little different and say, ‘Oh, I don’t owe anybody anything,’ then photographers are all gonna be penniless and out on the street, and their profession will go away.” So what would change for me as a consumer of entertainment based on the Supreme Court’s ruling? Is this just gonna be an ongoing fight? Are the unicorn folks just saying, “Well, actually we didn’t make ‘My Humps.’ We made ‘My Poops’?” ’Cause they do say, “My poop. My poop, my poop, my poop.” But then you started hearing concerns about technology. How the rise of phones, AI, and cameras that everybody has and can use to manipulate pictures and so much more — how that could affect the analysis here, because the Court hasn’t considered one of these cases in a long time. People didn’t even have flip phones the last time the Court took up a case like this. Now they’re having to deal with the fact that you don’t have to be Andy Warhol to transform a photograph. You have AI that makes you look like a sexy villain or like a buff superhero in 100 different photos. Olivia Rodrigo was not doing anything different from Michelangelo or Leonardo da Vinci, honestly.

We’ve seen this struggle play out in court cases for as long as people have owned art or had ideas about art. Is it really fundamentally different now with AI and the speed at which computers can generate, say, 1,000 prints of Warhols in two minutes? You gotta think of the bigger picture, which is that we live in 2023. Everything that’s been done will be done again. Everything that can be done has already been done. We’re building off each other’s ideas, and we should be letting people come up with interesting new ways to express stuff — even if they’re building off the works of their ancestors. Describing Paramore as an ancestor makes me feel very old, but Sam, I think it’s the truth. The mood was alternately goofy and tense. The lawyers there arguing for both sides did a really good job, and the justices were seemingly groping toward a solution in good faith without any partisan violence. And I think that’s important to note, because in most of the cases I cover, there’s some kind of political angle — whether we’re talking about elections or race or even free speech. A lot of that stuff does play into politics. This is not so clearly political. This is a case about what constitutes art and when a new kind of art gains its own independent existence.On the other side, you’ve got all of these artists, all of these museums, all of these lawyers who do art law. You’ve got the Art Institute of Chicago, you’ve got the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation saying, “If this is really infringement, then we are absolutely terrified that we are gonna get slapped with suit after suit based on what is hanging on our walls.” Because they have a lot of modern and postmodern art, and the reality is that a lot of that stuff is based on previous works by previous artists. Before we get into the legalese of it all, I have to ask point blank: Do you like the unicorn-poop song? So, this is an amazing case, and it’s another difficult one, because there are legitimate free-speech arguments on both sides. There’s this photographer named Lynn Goldsmith, who took this iconic photo of Prince. If you Google “Lynn Goldsmith, Prince,” you’ll see the picture. Poopsie Slime Surprise is a line of unicorn dolls that excrete sparkling slime. That is their charm. Like is not a strong enough word for it. I love the unicorn-poop song. I watched it ten times just to prepare for this recording, and I just became infatuated with it. It’s transformative, and I think it is deserving of the legal protection that its makers insist on. But, you know, I tend to err on the side of free speech. So it was inevitable that I was going to be on team Poopsie Slime Surprise here.

Yeah, I really think this is a challenge to this entire area of law, because the way it was considered before was based on the fact that people really put their blood, sweat, and tears into transforming these works. There’s a famous case where there was a parody of the song “Pretty Woman,” the Roy Orbison song. This group called 2 Live Crew decided to do their own version. For devoted pop-culture junkies hearing this conversation, saying to themselves, “Well, I wanna know how to be on the right side of this,” how should they consume art differently or better knowing that all of these fights are happening? This is a really tough case. And one of the issues here is that, as much as I want to just stand up for the unicorn-poop folks, they have a problem, which is that, historically, and especially in Supreme Court precedent, this idea of transforming a piece of art through parody usually involves something that’s not so crassly commercial. The unicorn-doll people are trying to sell a product. They’re not making a song that they want to perform for the masses. They’re not making a short film that they want to submit to the Oscars. They just want to get these dolls in the hands of young children.

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