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Mass Museum v. Buchel

Mass Museum v. Buchel

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Published by gesmer

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Published by: gesmer on Mar 04, 2010
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publicly display and create derivative works from his work.

On MASS MoCA's motion, the court ordered an expedited

discovery schedule that included a private viewing by the district

court of Building 5 and the unfinished installation. After the

close of discovery, both sides filed cross-motions seeking summary

judgment on the complaint and all counterclaims. On September 21,

2007, the court held oral argument on the cross-motions and ruled

from the bench. That decision addressed only the Museum's original

complaint seeking declaratory relief to allow public display of the

partially completed project and Büchel's corresponding counterclaim


seeking to prevent the Museum from showing the then-existing work.

The court ruled in favor of the Museum, noting that nothing in VARA

prevented MASS MoCA from showing the incomplete project.

Therefore, MASS MoCA was "entitled to present" the unfinished

installation to the public as long as it posted a disclaimer that

would "inform anyone viewing the exhibit that the materials

assembled in Building 5 constitute an unfinished project that [did]

not carry out the installation's original intent." The court

correspondingly denied the artist's request for injunctive relief

barring public display of the unfinished installation, ruling that

he had failed to prove a likelihood of success on the merits of his

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