April 10th, 2015

Arne Svenson Exonerated on Appeal in Privacy Invasion Case

From Arne Svenson's series "The Neighbors" ©Arne Svenson

From Arne Svenson’s series “The Neighbors” ©Arne Svenson

A New York State appeals court court has upheld a lower court ruling that rejected privacy invasion claims against fine-art photographer Arne Svenson. But the court has also challenged the New York state legislature to consider legislation to prohibit what Svenson did: photograph his neighbors inside their apartments through their un-curtained windows.

Svenson was sued by Martha and Matthew Foster in 2013 for using a telephoto lens to photograph them and other neighbors through the windows of their apartments, then displaying the images in art galleries for sale as fine-art prints.

The invasion of privacy committed by Svenson was not actionable, state appeals court judge Dianne T. Renwick wrote in a unanimous decision handed down yesterday, “because [Svenson’s] use of the images in question constituted art work and thus is not deemed ‘use for advertising or trade purposes,’ within the meaning of the statute.” (more…)

August 6th, 2013

Judge Dismisses Privacy Suit Against “Voyeur” Artist Arne Svenson

From "The Neighbors," 2012. ©Arne Svenson

From “The Neighbors,” 2012. ©Arne Svenson

The New York photographer who provoked controversy by photographing his neighbors through their apartment windows and exhibiting the images in a gallery has fended off lawsuit for invasion of privacy.

New York State court judge Judge Eileen  A. Rakower dismissed the claim against photographer Arne Svenson, ruling that the photos in question were protected by the First Amendment. She also ruled that the images did not violate New York State civil rights laws, as the plaintiffs had claimed.

“An artist may create and sell a work of art that resembles an individual without his or her written consent,” Judge Rakower wrote in her decision, underscoring a central principle of the case.

Read the complete story at PDNonline.com.