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Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law Commons

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Washington University Law Review

Estates and Trusts

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Full-Text Articles in Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law

Ip, R.I.P., Andrew Gilden Jan 2017

Ip, R.I.P., Andrew Gilden

Washington University Law Review

Death is an inevitably disruptive event. When a famous artist or public figure dies, the fallout can be particularly complex and contentious. An artist’s surviving family and close friends frequently seek privacy and solitude as they process a deeply personal loss, while millions of fans, by contrast, seek to widely share, rework, and celebrate the decedent’s archive of work. When these very different mourning processes intersect, intellectual property laws play a pivotal role in deciding how an artist is mourned, commemorated, and remembered.

This Article reexamines the interests of an artist’s families, friends, and other heirs (IP ...