October 12th, 2009 by Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento in Free Speech
The Huffington Post has a few thoughts today on the recent Richard Prince censorship scandal over at the Tate Modern.
Can the removal simply be attributed to the professional vigilance of the London police’s Obscene Publications Unit? The work of overzealous monitors of public morality? Perhaps. But then again, perhaps not. Or perhaps something far more sinister, a willful censorship, striking at the very heart of artistic creativity and ultimately at our basic freedoms of expression.
The pointed question arises, why banishment in London, and why not in New York or Minneapolis or myriad other locales? Is it because the London that once was, is no longer the London of today. That it is a city whose constituency and fabric has altered dramatically in recent times. A city that has had as its mayor and has been formed in part by one Ken Livingstone, whose ideology would be well suited to what Kimball terms “pre-emptive capitulation” that forfeit the prerogatives of truth for the dubious satisfactions of multicultural self-righteousness. Where draconian aspects of Shariah law filter through, purposely losing sight that living in a modern, secular democracy there is always plenty of offense to go around. That is what has happened to Yale. If now London, where next?
Read more from the Post here.
October 9th, 2009 by Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento in Copyright
For those of you keeping tabs on the orphan works debate:
Lost and Found: A Practical Look at Orphan Works
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
6:00 – 8:00 pm
New York City Bar Association
42 West 44th Street
New York, NY 10036
The Art Law Committee and the Copyright and Literary Property Committee of the New York City Bar Association, in conjunction with Columbia Law School’s Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts, will host a public discussion of proposed legislation regarding use of “orphan works.” What standards will apply to the search for copyright owners of such works? How will infringement claims be handled? What is the role of registries with respect to such works? Join us for a discussion of these and other related issues.
- Brendan M. Connell, Jr., Director and Counsel for Administration, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
- Frederic Haber, Vice President and General Counsel, Copyright Clearance Center, Inc.
- Eugene H. Mopsik, Executive Director, American Society of Media Photographers
- Maria Pallante, Associate Register for Policy & International Affairs, U.S. Copyright Office
- Charles Wright, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Legal and Business Affairs, A&E Television Networks
- June M. Besek, Executive Director, Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts
On September 29, 2009, The Copyright Alliance and its grassroots network of creators announced circulation among creators nationwide of a letter to President Obama and Vice President Biden, asking the Administration to pursue policies supportive of the rights of artists. Clancco joins The Copyright Alliance in this endeavor and fully endorses the letter.
“Artists and creators make important contributions not only to our society and culture, but also to our economy,” said Lucinda Dugger, the Alliance’s Director of Outreach. “Increasingly, creators are finding their work misappropriated, reproduced and distributed without their knowledge, consent or benefit by those who believe intellectual property should be free for the taking. It is important that creators speak up about their works and how the principle of copyright empowers and provides incentive for creators to earn a living with their talents and ideas.”
Since the letter’s announcement and circulation, the letter has garnered over 8,800 electronic signatures. With artists encouraging participation within their personal networks on blogs and Twitter feeds, the letter already has been signed by creators in all 50 states and representing a full spectrum of creative disciplines.
You may read and sign the letter here.
Read about The Copyright Alliance’s and their full statement on the letter here.
October 2nd, 2009 by Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento in Free Speech
The Guardian reported last Wednesday that Richard Prince’s re-photograph of 10-year-old Brooke Shields, Spiritual America, has been removed from their exhibition, Pop Life, Art in a Material World.
The photograph was removed after Scotland Yard became concerned that the photograph may have violated UK’s obscenity laws. There couldn’t be a worse moment to fight for the exhibition of Prince’s post-modern masterpiece given the recent and tragic news of a child sex-abuse ring here in the UK.
UPDATE: October 3, 2009
The Richard Prince installation has been taken down and the room is cordoned off. We asked Tate Modern staff and information services staff if the Tate would be re-installing Prince’s work and if so, when. They declined to give any information. The bookstore has also removed all Pop Life exhibition catalogs. No information was given as to the catalogs re-release date.
UPDATE: October 14, 2009
According to the AP, the Tate Modern has replaced Prince’s photo of 10-yr-old Brooke Shields and replaced it with a photo of Shields in a bikini taken in 2005. Who says we all can’t get along?
Seemingly as a show of force, the city of Boston is cracking down on graffiti vandals. According to the Boston Globe, Danielle Bremner, a 24-year-old New Yorker, was charged with 13 counts of vandalism and defacing property for spray painting her moniker, “Utah,” in the Back Bay and East Boston. Last week she pleaded guilty to the charges, and on Thursday, October 1st, she is expected to be sentenced to six months in jail.
On Tuesday, September 22nd, Mexican federal prosecutors began investigating whether or not more than 1,000 items attributed to artist Frida Kahlo were forged. For previous entry on this story, click here.
Armed robbers have stolen Olympia, a painting by the Belgian surrealist Rene Magritte, in broad daylight from a Brussels museum dedicated to Magritte’s life and works. The painting is estimated at four million euros.