Re: [rumori] outlaw (fwd)

Andrew Lander (
Fri, 09 Jul 1999 08:04:34 PDT

>From: Steev <>
>Date: Fri, 9 Jul 1999 06:16:32 +0000 ( )
>I don't care if i break the law either, but as a matter of principle if
>something i think should be permitted is forbidden by law, i'll speak out
>against the law.
>And just because you can GET AWAY with breaking the law
>doesnt mean the law shouldn't be changed.

It also doesn't mean that you always should. Not all laws deserve to be
broken. As I think is a conclusion to be drawn from:

>there are limits to everything. fact of life. ( case in point - on
>another list i'm on there's been a huge argument about a performance
>artist who goes by the name Death Squad, who did a show here in san
>francisco where he held a loaded gun up to audience members' heads.
>Afterwards he claimed that the piece's artistic merits provided sufficient
>blessing for his actions, while others argued that even art is not an
>excuse for violating other's civil rights. I tend to agree with them. You
>can complain all you want about restrictions of your freedoms (artistic or
>otherwise), but face it, your freedom ends at the point you're opressing
>someone else. period.)

It's arguable that holding a loaded gun to someone's head has artistic
merit. What if the artist pulled the trigger?

>perhaps we americans, or maybe just me, are more idealistic that way.
>Laws, ideally, should serve our interests. if they don't they shouldbe
>changed, and they can be. perhaps europeans are more cynical, and admit
>that laws will never ever really be in citizens' interests, and so they
>should just be ignored. anyone else care to comment on this?

I don't agree that laws can't be in people's interests, civil rights laws
are a good example. So are drunk driving laws. I happen to be one of those
on this board who doesn't believe that the whole of copyright law should be
scrapped. In fact, if, as some have said, that the law isn't really against
us anymore after the 2 Live Crew ruling, then it may not have to be changed
much at all. All that may be necessary is for us to be aware and stand up
for our rights and make others aware of them.

>I think the constant cause of most friction in this arena is conflict
>between commerce and culture. if no one cared to make money from
>"art" then there would be no concerns about "piracy".
>but that's why there needs to be a distinction made, because
>the other side is going to use as it's main argument that
>infringing copyright is done simply to make undeserved cash. People need
>to understand that there can be a motivation for it that is not about
>money. By condoning outright piracy we muddle that point.

I agree. There is a difference between piracy and artistic appropriation.
But the distinction needs to be made also because the pirated artist does
deserve credit for their work, both artistic and monetary, whereas a work
that incorporates appropriation is a new entity. I fully agree with
Negativland's tenets in this area. I still believe that there is such a
thing as an author, and originality, though not as an absolute as our
culture trust envisions it.

The distinction cuts both ways, too. If we do not define recombinant art as
different from piracy it makes it harder to argue that it has something new
to it and thus has a moral right to exist.

>i'm unsure how you interpreted anything i've
>said to be in favor of censoring anyone. ??

I don't think you can be found guilty of that charge. There is a difference
(that's becoming a stock phrase for me!) between censorship and censure, or
criticism. The debate has gotten quite heated at points and some veiled
insults have been traded, but nobody had been kept from saying their peace.
Now if GASK's posts are mysteriously missing from the next archive, then you
could be accused of censorship!

Andrew Lander

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