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Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal

Abstract

California became the first state in the nation to statutorily recognize the personal rights of artists in their creations when it enacted section 987 of the California Civil Code. The California Art Preservation Act prohibits the alteration of a work of fine art by anyone other than its creator. In addition to other remedies, an aggrieved artist may seek to recover "actual damages" for an unauthorized alteration of his or her

work. Addressing the difficulty of proving actual damages, this Note discusses the types of proof of actual damages which are allowed in other torts which protect a person's reputation and other personal interests. The author proposes a scheme of borrowing these types of proof and asserting them in an action under the Art Preservation Act. The author concludes that the evidentiary shortcomings of the Act would be remedied best by an amendment to include a provision for statutory damages as an alternative remedy.

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