[caption id="attachment_7705" align="alignnone" width="185"] Via quite peculilar at flickr.[/caption] Here's an interesting conundrum. If a major petroleum corporation is alleged to "steal" an idea from a visual artist, the artistic community tends to side with the artist. But if it's one artist "stealing" copyrightable work from another artist, most of the so-called art world tends to side the appropriator (usually the most commercially viable one). The reason - clearly not a very rigorous one - stems from the fact that in the former example the appropriator is not a Liberal's darling (and I don't say this to be flippant or bombastic; the ...
[caption id="attachment_7698" align="alignnone" width="185"] Duchamp Wanted (1992). Elaine Sturtevant (1924–2014).[/caption] If you're in or happen to find yourself in NYC, you MUST go see the Sturtevant exhibition, Sturtevant: Double Trouble, currently up at MoMA. This is a quick post, and I'm writing a bit on her practice as we speak, but for now three key factors to keep in mind when seeing her work. One, the difference between copying and reproduction; two, the performative aspects of and to her work; and three, materiality. You won't be disappointed. Up now until February 22, 2015.
Earlier this year we highlighted a Court of Appeals opinion that was so out in right field it might as well have been a hot-dog vendor at Dodger Stadium. Back in March we reported on this case, Garcia v. Google (here's the actual opinion) where the Ninth Circuit's Judge Kozinski basically said that a performer's performance constituted a separate, copyright-eligible work. In plain English, that an actor performing for a film-maker owns the copyright to her/his performance. Where's the fixation, you ask? Good question. The other Ninth Circuit judges surely had the same thought, agreeing to rehear the case, en banc. Basically ...
[caption id="attachment_7685" align="alignnone" width="300"] Image courtesy of Peter von Tiesenhausen. Copyright Peter von Tiesenhausen.[/caption] I'm still trying to get to the bottom of this, so any Canadian copyright lawyers out there please feel free to chime in. It appears that Canadian artist, Peter von Tiesenhausen, has been able to fend off pipeline developers by creating and installing sculptural works on his land. The confusing part is that news sources, like this one, are claiming that von Tiesenhausen has "copyrighted" his land as a work of art, and that it is this copyright that has kept pipeline developers from taking von Tiesenhausen's work. ...
Hope everyone had a happy Halloween. Not quite scary as much as shocking, news broke yesterday that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will be rehearing the resale rights arguments, en banc (which means that it's quite possible that all of the 9th Circuit judges will hear the arguments). What the heck does that mean? Here's Nicholas O'Donnell, Ordinarily, an appeal to the full circuit court follows an adverse decision from a three-judge panel. Typically, the dissatisfied party asks the entire court, which can be several or dozens of judges, to consider the matter as a whole. Here, the Court itself took notice ...
According to W.A.G.E.,
Certification is a program that publicly recognizes non-profit arts organizations that demonstrate a history of, and commitment to, voluntarily paying artist fees—it is also the first of its kind in the U.S. that establishes a sector-wide minimum standard for compensation, as well as a clear set of guidelines and standards for the conditions under which artistic labor is contracted.
W.A.G.E. worked in dialog with artists, arts organizations, writers, sociologists, labor historians, and critical theorists over the past four years to produce a scalable model that can be applied across the non-profit arts economy in all its variation: from small artist-run spaces struggling to support a single employee to large institutions with hundreds of full-time workers and top salaries in the seven figures.
On a quick glance, the analytical structure and fees seem to be quite reasonable. Good going!
I respectfully disagree. That position is a hedge and all good in theory, but it is tantamount to saying that prison rules impact all prisoners alike. Sure, in theory. In real life there are the bullies and the bullied; the gangs and the unaffiliated.
Don’t get me wrong I’m all for Lord of the Flies, but this is different than saying that artists with financial means don’t selectively identify artists that don’t have access to power and money. Case in point, when was the last time we witnessed a copyright infringement lawsuit between Koons and Prince, or Murakami and Hirst? (As mom used to say, “pick on someone your own size.”)
Without divulging sources, there are appropriation artists who consider the financial costs of potential copyright infringement lawsuits against them as a business expense, especially when advised that the fair use doctrine may not favor a particular appropriation of copyrighted content. In other words, this “business expense” is budgeted in, put aside, as rainy-day money to be used for settlement or to defend a lawsuit. Someone, the artist with money, or the artist with a gallery with money, will foot the bill.
Opinions like the 2nd Circuit’s Cariou v. Prince opinion only heighten this problem by privileging the valuation of art and definition of artist solely on financial and commercial market criteria. Selling art for millions rather than thousands; having a studio in Manhattan rather than Queens; and having collectors like Brad Pitt over John Doe suddenly become factors naturalized as part of the fair use analysis. Copyright’s constitutional provision of promoting progress in the arts is nowhere to be found.
I’ll say this. If current copyright law does negatively impact all artists rich and poor alike, we can credit this clusterfuck to those who argue that all appropriation, regardless of intent, is fair use simply because it’s “art.” With this cute characterization of the nature and history of art and copyright law, we should not act surprised when we’re left with a shoot-first-ask-questions-later lawsuit mentality. Or, as I like to characterize it, kill ‘em all, let God sort ‘em out.
But the argument for transformation doesn’t work in the other direction, i.e., when unknown artists appropriate from better-known artists and then argue that they’ve created a transformative work. That’s because works by famous artists just don’t seem like raw material to juries, judges or average citizens.
Thanks to Lauren van Haaften-Schick for the heads up on this one.
Two experts will battle it out at a symposium in Seville (15-17 October) sponsored by the Spanish bank Santander, which has paid for the work to be restored.
According to the Art Newspaper, “The foremost dissenter is Jonathan Brown, a professor of art at New York University’s Institute.” The proponent is a curator, John Marciari, now the head of drawings at New York’s Morgan Library and Museum, who attributed the work to Velázquez.
On September 25, 2014, the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) granted applications by numerous companies for permission to use Unmanned Aerial Systems (“UAS”) – more commonly known as drones – for film production on movie sets. This long-awaited move clears the way for filmmakers and others to use these low-cost filmmaking tools. However, a close reading of the FAA decisions reveals a number of restrictions on UAS.
More on the restrictions via Frankfurt Kurnit.
On May 7, 1874, Samuel L. Clemens–the American author and humorist known as Mark Twain–wrote to Librarian of Congress Ainsworth Rand Spofford, seeking copyright protection for his pamphlet and its cover design.
Twain became so frustrated by literary piracy that from time to time he considered giving up books to write plays, successfully staging versions of “The Gilded Age,” “Huckleberry Finn,” “The Prince and the Pauper,” “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” and “Pudd’nhead Wilson.”
Read more on Mark Twain and his promotion of copyright protection here.
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