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Case Summary

Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation, Inc. v. Büchel

Mass. Museum of Contemporary Art Found., Inc. v. Büchel, 593 F.3d 38 (1st Cir. 2010).

In this federal case which tested the scope of the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 (“VARA”), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held that VARA applies to both unfinished and finished works of art. After Swiss artist Christoph Büchel abandoned an art installation exhibit prior to completion, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (“Mass MoCA”) filed suit for a declaration that the museum could exhibit the unfinished work to the public. Büchel counterclaimed that the museum violated his rights under both VARA, which protects an artist’smoral rights of integrity andattribution, and the Copyright Act. . . .

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