The photographer, Patrick Cariou, made "serene and deliberately composed portraits and landscape photographs depict the natural beauty of the Rastafarians and their surrounding environs," the court said. But "Prince’s crude and jarring works, on the other hand, are hectic and provocative."
In her decision in 2011, Judge Batts gave Mr. Cariou the right to destroy the “Canal Zone” paintings that had not been sold to collectors, a remedy that was criticized by Judge Barrington D. Parker Jr. of the Second Circuit during oral arguments last year.Destroy?!! But look what Prince did with Cariou's photographs: here. And Prince sold the works for more than $10 million. And yet, don't you feel free to take a book of photographs you own, cut out the pictures, paste them onto poster-board, and scribble and scratch on them? If you made some creepy ugly image out of photos of beautiful models, wouldn't you feel that was yours all yours?
There's a high art/low art issue here. There's the way that the snooty people who exhibit in an elite gallery think they owe nothing to the relatively low people who take sentimental photographs. But that's a topic for debate, not a reason for the photographer to hit up the high-class artist for money or — absurd! — claim a right to destroy the expensive articles of commerce.