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Warhol foundation sues over copies

Web site selling reproductions for up to $500
/ Source: Reuters

The foundation representing pop artist Andy Warhol filed suit Wednesday against a company selling unlicensed reproductions of his iconic works.

The Andy Warhol Foundation is seeking an undetermined sum, plus attorneys’ fees, from Arts-studio.com, according to the suit filed in federal court in Chicago.

On its Web site, Arts-studio.com advertises “museum-quality copies of famous masterpieces painted by our Thai artists totally by hand.” Oil-on-canvas copies of famous artists’ works from Picasso to Dali can be bought in various sizes for prices ranging from about $250 to $500.

“Companies like this are generally fly-by-night companies -- they know what they’re doing is illegal -- and they fold their tent and go on to the next town,” lawyer Jeffrey Cooper said, adding the company has not responded to letters demanding it cease reproducing Warhols.

A message left at Arts-studio.com’s Chicago office was not immediately returned.

Warhol, known for his renderings of Marilyn Monroe and Campbell’s soup cans, died in 1987. His foundation licenses images for everything from posters to handbags, using the proceeds to make charitable donations to aspiring artists and other groups.