Thursday, July 28, 2016

Art Institute of Chicago Sues Engineers; Alleges Shoddy Craftsmanship

The Art Institute of Chicago is suing a London engineering firm, Ove Arup & Partners, for what it calls delays and shoddy engineering in its Modern Wing addition that opened last year.

According to the suit filed Tuesday in federal court, the museum faces $10 million in repairs and upgrades to the addition. Among the problems cited in the suit are cracks in concrete floors, condensation clouding the main vestibule glass and an air-conditioning system that can’t maintain a safe climate for artwork.

Via The Chicago Tribune.


Copyrightable Innovations Can Thrive Under a Wide Variety of Conditions


Well, the exact quote is, “[I]nnovation can thrive under a wide variety of conditions — from cutthroat competition all the way to very strong IP — depending on the particular logic of innovation in an industry.” [italics in original quote]

This is probably the smartest article I have read recently on copyright and creativity (and also perhaps because in all honesty it mirrors an argument I have made before (note in particular the second paragraph)). Kal Raustiala, a professor at UCLA Law School and the UCLA International Institute, and Chris Sprigman, a professor at the University of Virginia Law School, are guest blogging for the “paper of record,” and via a unique analysis of copyright and football (yes, pigskin Texas Longhorn football), they explain why intellectual property rights–specifically copyright–cannot be applied equally across all disciplines and industries, including the presumption that free culture is necessarily good in all realms of creative activity.

Football and pharmaceuticals are as different as music is from poetry, or computer software from architecture, or academic research from motion pictures.  All of these are creative endeavors, all of them involve innovation, but the ways in which these creators innovate, and the legal rules that best fit innovation in these fields, are all very different.  Our copyright and patent laws treat all the industries they reach virtually the same.  Yet all innovation cultures are different.

One could not agree more. Check out Raustiala and Sprigman’s article here. Hook ‘em!


A Joker Judge and A Joker Jury!

Batman no. 163 (May 1964). Personal collection of Mark S. Zaid, Esq.

Batman no. 163 (May 1964). Personal collection of Mark S. Zaid, Esq.

It’s not just for kids, kids. The Yale Law Library has on view what seems to be a very interesting exhibition, “Superheroes in Court! Lawyers, Law and Comic Books.” The exhibition was curated by a Washington, DC attorney, Mark Zaid, and will be on display from Sept. 4, 2010 through Dec. 16, 2010 in the Rare Book Exhibition Gallery of the Lillian Goldman Law Library at Yale Law School.

From their website:

Comic books have been around in modern form now for nearly 80 years and throughout their existence the influence of lawyers, laws and courts has been significant in the development and continuation of the industry. While oftentimes operating behind the scenes, whether as characters in comic book stories or in reality helping craft decisions that lead to the rise or fall of publishing companies, lawyers have repeatedly been recognized as part of this community, as seen in these varied examples of court-room covers published during the 1940s – 1970s.


Cops Turn Other Cheek to Naked Artists

Ah, conservative DC. Washington, DC that is. I remember art school fondly, and how every semester there was a “daring” undergrad who figured out that one quick way to get attention was to get, well, you know, naked.

A DC artist has just figured that out, and somehow that drew the attention of the DC cops.

The gallery in the Trinidad neighborhood of Northeast Washington invited art lovers to see three solo exhibits. In the large front room was “Infinity,” a “conceptual installation” by D.C.-based artist John Kirchner. The artist stripped a 1955 Chris-Craft motorboat, flipped it upside down and (just for opening night) asked three performers to sit, stand and pose pensively on the hull. Without, you know, clothes.

Don’t worry. No arrests and no disturbances. Via The Washington Post.


“The majority vote is that copyright in fashion would do more harm than good”

Really? So says BU’s The Quad. Fashion copying is flattering, increases demand, is democratic, and does not impinge on high couture’s demographics.

Surprisingly, a lot of opposition for copyright protection for the fashion industry has come from the within the industry itself, [and] even though some within the industry are adamant that copyright is needed and deserved, the majority vote is that copyright in fashion would do more harm than good. The statistics show that the current business model works. So why fix what isn’t broken?

I wonder: who is this “majority vote”?


Japanese Convict Art

A unique art show is under way at a small Tokyo gallery displaying 40 paintings by 26 prisoners, including current and executed death row inmates. I’m sure the work is good, but flowers behind bars, fish, and snowy landscapes don’t exactly make me want to run out to Tokyo and view the exhibition.

Via Japan Times.


Murakami Controversy at the Palace of Versailles

Check out the BBC video! I got to see the Jeff Koons show there. Wouldn’t mind seeing this one.


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