Relates to the authenticity, attribution and authorship of fine works of art; defines the term authenticator and stipulates that in a civil action regarding authenticity, the claimant must specify with particularity the facts and prove the elements by clear and convincing evidence; entitles the authenticator to recover reasonable attorneys' fees and expenses if he/she prevails.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the arts and cultural affairs law, in relation to opinions concerning authenticity, attribution and authorship of works of fine art
PURPOSE: To enhance protections under the law for individuals who are employed as art authenticator in the visual arts community.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section one adds a new section 13.04 to the arts and cultural affairs law.
Section two sets forth the effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: In general, artwork is authenticated by a trained person through documentation, stylistic inquiry, and/or scientific verification. No one method is perfect as oftentimes authenticity is difficult to determine. While each authentication method has its own drawbacks, the role of authenticators as drivers of the art market cannot be overstated. Art authenticators reduce the risk of counterfeits and imitation flooding the art market that could potentially devalue the work of millions of artists.
In recent years, the work of authenticators has come under pressure from meritless lawsuits against those who render opinions in good faith. Such defense of expensive and frivolous lawsuits have left many in the industry reluctant to lend their expertise in authenticating art works.
This bill would clarify the role of art authenticators to ensure that those who practice their profession, in good faith, would be afforded protections under the law to ensure that only valid, verifiable claims against authenticators are allowed to proceed in civil court.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall have become a law and shall apply to all opinions as to the authenticity, attribution or authorship of a work of fine art provided to someone other than the authenticator after such effective date.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1229 2015-2016 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 9, 2015 ___________Introduced by Sens. LITTLE, LATIMER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation AN ACT to amend the arts and cultural affairs law, in relation to opin- ions concerning authenticity, attribution and authorship of works of fine art THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The arts and cultural affairs law is amended by adding a new section 13.04 to read as follows: S 13.04. OPINIONS AS TO THE AUTHENTICITY, ATTRIBUTION OR AUTHORSHIP OF WORKS OF FINE ART. 1. IN ANY CIVIL ACTION BROUGHT AGAINST AN AUTHENTICA- TOR THAT ARISES FROM OR RELATES TO THE AUTHENTICATOR'S OPINION OR INFOR- MATION CONCERNING A WORK OF FINE ART, THE CLAIMANT SHALL: (A) SPECIFY WITH PARTICULARITY IN THE COMPLAINT FACTS SUFFICIENT TO SUPPORT EACH ELEMENT OF THE CLAIM OR CLAIMS ASSERTED; AND (B) PROVE THE ELEMENTS OF SUCH CLAIM OR CLAIMS BY CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE. 2. IN ANY ACTION DESCRIBED IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION, THE AUTHENTICATOR SHALL BE ENTITLED TO RECOVER HIS, HER OR ITS REASONABLE ATTORNEYS' FEES, COSTS AND EXPENSES IF AND TO THE EXTENT THAT THE AUTHENTICATOR PREVAILS IN SUCH ACTION. 3. "AUTHENTICATOR" AS USED IN THIS SECTION SHALL MEAN, SUBJECT TO THE LIMITATIONS IN THE FINAL SENTENCE OF THIS PARAGRAPH, A PERSON OR ENTITY RECOGNIZED IN THE VISUAL ARTS COMMUNITY AS HAVING EXPERTISE REGARDING THE ARTIST OR WORK OF FINE ART WITH RESPECT TO WHOM SUCH PERSON OR ENTI- TY RENDERS AN OPINION IN GOOD FAITH AS TO THE AUTHENTICITY, ATTRIBUTION OR AUTHORSHIP OF A WORK OF FINE ART, OR A PERSON OR ENTITY RECOGNIZED IN THE VISUAL ARTS OR SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY AS HAVING EXPERTISE IN UNCOVER- ING FACTS THAT SERVE AS A DIRECT BASIS, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, FOR AN OPINION AS TO THE AUTHENTICITY, ATTRIBUTION OR AUTHORSHIP OF A WORK OFEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD04295-01-5 S. 1229 2
FINE ART. "AUTHENTICATOR" SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO, AUTHORS OF CATALOGUES RAISONNE OR OTHER SCHOLARLY TEXTS IN WHICH AN OPINION AS TO THE AUTHENTICITY, ATTRIBUTION OR AUTHORSHIP OF A WORK OF ART IS EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED. "AUTHENTICATOR" SHALL NOT INCLUDE A PERSON OR ENTITY THAT HAS A FINANCIAL INTEREST IN THE WORK OF FINE ART FOR WHICH SUCH OPINION IS RENDERED OR IN ANY TRANSACTION CONCERNING SUCH WORK OF FINE ART FOR WHICH THE OPINION IS RENDERED, OTHER THAN TO BE COMPENSATED FOR SERVICES SUCH PERSON OR ENTITY ENGAGED IN TO PROVIDE AN OPINION AS TO THE AUTHENTICITY, ATTRIBUTION OR AUTHORSHIP OF SUCH WORK OF FINE ART OR TO PROVIDE INFORMATION ON WHICH SUCH AN OPINION IS BASED IN WHOLE OR IN PART. S 2. This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall have become a law and shall apply to all opinions as to the authentici- ty, attribution or authorship of a work of fine art provided to someone other than the authenticator after such effective date.