Double Vision: Copyright Infringement in the Art World

When does inspiration cross over the line into plagiarism and copyright infringement? Mark Lamster, author of Master of Shadows, examined this question in Sunday’s Los Angeles Times. His article examines the work of photographers Sze Tsung Leong and David Burdeny and poses the question, “Did Leong have a doppelg√§nger stalking him around the globe, reproducing his images?”

Leong isn’t the first artist to deal with copyright infringement. Centuries earlier, the painter Peter Paul Rubens came into conflict with his printmaker Lucas Vorsterman, who attempted to acquire copyrights for the prints he had made of Rubens’s work. Lamster recounts the tense conflict in his latest book, Master of Shadows, a biography of Rubens’s career as a secret agent during the Thirty Years War. Here’s a review.