Saturday, February 17, 2018
 


U.K. to Ban Intimate Spanking!


According to the BBC, a “bill outlawing the possession of ‘extreme pornography’ is set to become law next week.”

It’s bad enough that airline travelers carrying laptops now have to worry about the images stored on their hard drive (no pun intended), but now the U.K. has placed the burden on consumers to filter out any “extreme pornography” from their possession. In a seemingly extreme and sexual-xenophobic gesture, the U.K. seems hell-bent on denying their debaucherous citizens pleasure from foreign porn: “Until now pornographers, rather than consumers, have needed to operate within the confines of the 1959 Obscene Publications Act (OPA). While this law will remain, the new act is designed to reflect the realities of the internet age, when pornographic images may be hosted on websites outside the UK.”

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Spain: Thieves Like Art…Lots of It!


Approximately 150 art thefts occur yearly in Spain, reports El Pais. The majority of the

works stolen are paintings, including two paintings by Diego de Velázquez stolen from The Real Madrid Palace in 1989. In the last 15 years there have been over 7,000 art thefts, with approximatly over 500 stolen artworks still to be recovered by Spanish authorities (although they do mention a 2001 recovery of two Goyas). The majority of thefts occur in churches, private homes, auction houses and art museums. As if this wasn’t enough, authorities have to deal with a second problem stemming from these thefts: forgeries! Spanish authorities believe that the market for forgeries is growing, amplified by unscrupulous art experts more than willing to authenticate fake Warhols, Picassos, and Dalis.

 

Judge: Kurtz Not A Terrorist


After approximatley five years of wasting public monies on a ridiculous charge, a “judge threw out charges Monday against Steven Kurtz, a college art professor accused of improperly obtaining biological materials for an exhibit protesting U.S. government policy on genetically modified foods. U.S. District Judge Richard Arcara ruled that the 2004 mail and wire fraud indictment against Steven Kurtz, a University at Buffalo professor, was ‘insufficient on its face.’”

“Kurtz is a founding member of the Critical Art Ensemble, which has used human DNA and other biological materials in works intended to draw attention to political and social issues. His arrest drew protests from artists in several countries who called the charges an intrusion on artistic freedom.The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Buffalo said it was considering an appeal but otherwise declined to discuss the ruling,” said CBC.

 

It’s So Famous I didn’t Know It Was Missing


A painting by famous Swiss painter, Ferdinand Hodler, was reported stolen last month when shippers arrived at the owner’s home, only to be advised by the owner that the painting had already been given to them. After mutual bafflement, the owner advised the shippers that an “unknown woman presented herself more than a year earlier to pick up the artwork for the show, arousing no suspicion[.]” The painting is reported to be worth 1.1 million francs ($1.1 million). From Bloomberg.com

 

Jesus Has Left the Building


A federal judge ruled this past week that Jesus cannot hang (out) in a courthouse unless he’s accompanied by “other historical ‘lawgivers,’ including Moses, Charlemagne and Napoleon Bonaparte.” To be precise, the federal judge actually ruled that a painting depicting Jesus presenting the New Testament above the words, “To Know Peace, Obey These Laws” cannot hang in a Louisiana courthouse unless the context makes it clear that the courthouse is not endorsing a particular religion. Read more on this at The First Amendment Center.

 

Dear Professor: “You’ve Been Sued”


If you’re currently teaching and making course-packets and readers without consent of the authors, you better read this! Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press Inc. and Sage Publications Inc. have sued Georgia State University. The publishers brought suit to stop Georgia State professors from copying what they call a “legitimate 20%” from books and making them available for their students, free, via online course packets.

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Can Orangutans Own Intellectual Property?


NPR reported recently that “[s]everal zoos across the country now sell paintings done by animals. The Houston Zoo, for example, offers a $500 experience, in which you can sit and watch an orangutan make a painting just for you.”

We couldn’t help but wonder: Who owns the copyright to the orangutan’s painting?

chimp.paint.jpg

(Chimp putting finishing touches on painting for 2008 Whitney Biennial)

We think there are a four options (with the first being the winner).

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