On May 5, 2014, Central Florida artist Megan Aroon Duncanson and Utah artist Sheri Marie Wiseman filed a lawsuit against Wine and Canvas Development, LLC and related entities for copyright infringement, therein alleging that the Defendants used their artwork for paint classes — repeatedly — without permission.
The lawsuit alleges that the Defendants are in the business of operating “paint parties,” where they invite guests to take painting classes while enjoying cocktails. When the students attend a class, they are supplied a blank canvas, paints, brushes, easel, and an apron. During each class, students receive detailed instruction, guidance, coaching, and encouragement in how to paint that night’s painting.
The problems giving rise to the lawsuit occurred when copies of Ms. Duncanson’s and Ms. Wiseman’s artwork were used as class subjects — repeatedly — without their permission, the lawsuit alleges. The above images are used in the lawsuit as an example to illustrate the allegations, which include that Ms. Duncanson’s original painting Blue Depth differs slightly but is substantially similar to the copy at right, which, according to Plaintiffs, was used in January and February 2013 in South Bend, Indiana, Wine and Canvas classes. Blue Depth is just one shown example of alleged infringement; other allegedly infringed works include Ms. Duncanson’s Bubbling Joy, Fine Wine, Spring Shine, Twisting Love, and Ms. Wiseman’s Red Bonsai Rain.
Sheri Wiseman’s works are available at her Etsy shop (including original paintings).
A copy of the complaint is below. Case No. 6:14-cv-00704-ORL-36KRS, styled Duncanson v. Wine and Canvas Development, LLC.