Art should be accessible within the public domain for work without commercial purpose.

“I am not interested in money. I just want to be wonderful.” — Marilyn Monroe

When Marilyn Monroe died she had just $3.50 in her apartment.

Though the bulk of her possessions were auctioned by Christie’s in October 1999 for a sum of $13,405,785, ownership of her estate has been the subject of ongoing legal battles. Currently, Marilyn Monroe is a trademark of the Estate of Marilyn Monroe, managed by CMG Worldwide Inc., headquartered in Indiana Authentic Brands Group LLC, headquartered in New York.

Andy Warhol’s estate is managed by the nonprofit Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts in conjunction with the Artists Rights Society, which represents the intellectual property rights of more than 50,000 visual artists internationally.

The Foundation generously encourages scholars to make use of Warhol images by charging only nominal fees to reproduce artworks for educational and creative purposes, such as newspapers, periodicals, books and research papers.

Digital creative purposes are uniquely limited, however.

Images of Andy Warhol and his artwork are available for purchase through an exclusive agreement with Corbis, if the intended use is editorial. Of the 1,797 available images, none are available for creative purposes. Furthermore, the Artists Rights Society does not grant unlimited online rights: licensing is based on the length of time the image will appear online.

Similarly, digital images of Marilyn Monroe are available for purchase from multiple media owners. A recent search yielded 2,200 2,543 photos on Getty Images, 1,490 1,579 on Corbis, 1,263 1,282 on mptv images, and several hundred from Legends Archive. However, no images of Marilyn were available for creative purposes. Interested parties may contact CMG Worldwide Authentic Brands Group to inquire about creative-licensing opportunities.


The Marilyn Manifesto
A Kimak project *