Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Copy of an Original of a Copy: On 3D Printing


Triple Canopy has just published “Copy of an Original of a Copy,” which, according to them, is “perhaps the world’s most extensive and illuminating conversation about 3-D printing, copyright, telegraphy, Left Shark, and the forms of authorship exercised by algorithms!”

This is an edited—and expanded, footnoted, illustrated—transcript of the conversation Triple Canopy held in April with law professor Edward Lee , art historian Jennifer L. Roberts, artist Allyson Vieira, Triple Canopy editor Alexander Provan, and yours truly. I do hope you enjoy.


Fair Use Fortune


I just got one of these, fortunes for artists and art-lovers by artist, Charles Gute!  Each gift pack comes with five individually-wrapped cookies, randomly selected from ten fortunes authored by Gute.  Made in San Francisco by Open-Editions.

Great gift for appropriationists and art lawyers of all sizes, colors and forms. Thanks to Andria Morales for the gift!


SXSW 2016: Creative Thievery = What’s Yours Is Mine.


On March 14, 2016, I’ll be participating in a panel at SxSW in Austin, TX, titled Creative Thievery = What’s Yours is Minewith three other panel members, including Hrag Vartanian, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Hyperallergic, Jonathan Rosen, NYC-based conceptual and appropriation artist, and Mary Crosse, Executive Producer of Derby Content. We will discuss the effect of digital technology and social media platforms on appropriation art, artistic ownership, and copyright law.

This session is part of Convergence Programming at SXSW 2016 and open to all Film, Interactive, Gold, and Platinum badgeholders, and is scheduled for Monday, March 14, from 3:30pm to 4:30pm at the San Jacinto room of the Four Seasons in Austin. It is also open to all Music badgeholders.

Find more information please click here.


Experts Opine on Art Law

Art historian Joan Kee asked scholars, lawyers, and artists from a variety of backgrounds to consider contemporary art and law in parallel, in conflict, and in convergence with one another.

More here.


Met Museum Settles ‘pay what you wish’ Lawsuit

As part of a settlement of a three-year-old class action lawsuit brought against the museum over its $25 “recommended admission”, which the plaintiffs argued misled the public, the Met will change all its signage to read “suggested admission”. The changes are due to go into effect this March, just in time for the launching of the Met-cum-Whitney Museum.


But Taking Workplace Pictures Isn’t Protected . . . Is It?

Recently, the National Labor Relations Board invalidated an employer’s policies restricting workplace recording, causing a shift in the legal landscape.

In the Board decision of Whole Foods Market Group, Inc., the NLRB held that “photography and audio or video recording in the workplace, as well as the posting of photographs and recordings on social media,” are protected by the National Labor Relations Act so long as employees are acting “in concert for their mutual aid and protection and no overriding employer interest is present.”

More here.


The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Announces “New” Fair Use Policy


Robert Rauschenberg’s “Stoned Moon Drawing,” 1969 © The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation The Foundation recognizes and supports the use of images of Rauschenberg artworks, for which the Foundation owns the copyright, under the doctrine of fair use.

Robert Rauschenberg’s “Stoned Moon Drawing,” 1969
© The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation
“The Foundation recognizes and supports the use of images of Rauschenberg artworks, for which the Foundation owns the copyright, under the doctrine of fair use.”

The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation is purporting to leave behind its old, restrictive copyright policy, in favor of adopting a new policy which seeks to make images of Rauschenberg’s work much more widely available and free. But this “new” policy is nothing new. The Foundation is simply giving the public the right to fair use of Rauschenberg’s images, a right that the public has had all along.

For years the Foundation has been part of a licensing system whose fees and permission agreements can make using images of artists works, for purposes like commentary or scholarship, both expensive and difficult. For example, licensing images for publishing an academic book can cost several thousand dollars, and while there is a lot of money in the art world, there is not a lot of money in the world of academic art books. The Foundation’s chief executive, Christy MacLear, admits that  the system has become too restrictive and has created barriers for the wrong people, such as museums and educators, whose use of images we should encourage. Thus, the foundations new policy seeks to permit borrowing of protected material for purposes like commentary, criticism, news reporting and scholarship.

But the public does not need the Rauschenberg Foundation’s approval to use Rauschenberg’s, or any other artist’s, images for these purposes. It is not a new concept that commentary, criticism, news reporting and scholarship are a valued part of society and that we should encourage the free use of artists’ images for these purposes. In fact, these purposes are specifically codified in the Copyright Act’s fair use doctrine, which states that the use of artist’s copyrighted works for purposes such as “criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching…scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.”

With this in mind, The Rauschenberg Foundation’s alleged new copyright policy seems less like a good faith attempt to benefit the public, and more like a promotional gimmick.


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