Re: [rumori] RE: pho: "threshold" for copyright??

From: Steev Hise (
Date: Fri Mar 02 2001 - 21:20:26 PST

Fri, 2 Mar 2001 found Don Joyce writing:

>IP copyright infringement contention. The Art Court (don't laugh!) would be
>presided over by judges who actually ARE both qualified and willing to
>distinguish collage as art from compilations and counterfeiting.

heh. i can't help it, i have to laugh.
"Welcome to art court, the honourable Judges Koons, Sontag,
and Anderson presiding. All rise"

well, one can hope.....

>Aren't videos just a commercial for a
>DJ - It's an art in a medium "advertising" the same art in another medium.
>Both are art and neither is advertising for anything else outside itself,
>its own qualities, per sae. It's her record and her video - artworks - none
>of the lyrics in either actually tell you to please buy the thing you're
>listening to. And even that would make them self-advertising at most. See,

I fail to see a real distinction between that and, say, many
Nike commercials, or Levis or Apple or a host of other
modern advertising that never, ever even mentions or shows
even a picture of the product, much less asks you to buy it.
( Nike manufactures brand, not shoes. how can one draw lines
between one "media" and "another" in a world where shoe
companies don't make even shoes? )

>there is no product outside Britney, no other product paying Britney to be
>Britney the product, though she can rent out herself for such purposes. And

Britney is selling a lifestyle, an image, a worldview. Not
just herself. She is a myth. In fact, another brand. What
she makes and the process of making it is no longer
exclusively about fun and creativity. And yet in a way, I
agree that it is still art.

>you can advertise yourself in your own art forever and still be art. It's
>when something outside her "art" is paying the bills and writing the script
>that it becomes advertising.

I think we can go on and on about this, like with all
debates over "what is art".

but just one comment: many "artists" do their "art" thanx to
grants. grants which they bend over backwards to get,
tailoring their meticulous proposals to meet what they think
the committee (something outside) wants to read. this sounds
pretty familiar, doesn't it?

Meanwhile we have people working at ad agencies, excercising
similiar skills, perhaps having even more fun in some cases,
being "creative", but also tailoring their work to meet
expectations of an other.

so, i don't think the definition of art can hinge wholly on
what/who is funding it. partially, but not entirely.

[ Here i will do what i probably shouldn't and offer my own
personal criterion, or one of them, for judging what is art,
or at least worthy art (worthy of what? public support and
defense): it's simple really: does the work "do good in the
world"? Take the following hypothetical: let's say suddenly
that Nike founder and CEO Phil Knight one day suddenly calls
a press conference and announces that the entire history of
Nike, Inc. is actually a big conceptual art piece he's been
doing. <GONG>
sorry, phil, nice try but you're outta here. it's not art,
because you fucked over lots and lots of people while you
were doing it and the net effect of your piece is negative.
The Art Court finds you NOT GUILTY - of making Art, that

>Commercial speech is not free speech. It may
>be self-censoring but it's nevertheless speech scripted and censored by
>others. You can't be both free AND censored speech.

I'm not sure I follow. Who are you saying is being censored
and scripted? Artists? From the point of view of their
employer they are simply tools, like my computer is my tool
for writing this. Commercial speech is the speech of a
commercial entity ( a business ). it may use "creatives"
(those who in other circumstances we could call "artists")
as its mouth, or it may use trained chimps, but either way
it is not their speech, it's the company's speech. And I've
seen many many cases where commercial entities invoke the
first amendment to protect their big obnoxious billboards,
posters, commercials, tv monitors, taped announcements, spam
email, etc etc.

I had said:
>>bit like the fight to limit billboards, etc. Commercial
>>speech is just speech, say the marketeers, and hence is
>>protected by the First Amendment. Trying to draw the line
>>and say commerce must be limited, must NOT have the same
>>rights as a person (much less an "artist", whatever that is)
>>is a big big fight, bigger than this one about copyright.

Don why didnt you respond to this? I'm wondering because
this is the most important point, a point i keep making. To
wit, this copyright battle we're all so interested in is
JUST A SMALL PART of the larger war against wild capitalism
and corporate might.

this is both discouraging and heartening - the former
because it means we can't question IP without questioning
much much more, a virtually monolithic evil. But it also
means all the others fighting this war on different fronts
are our allies.


Steev Hise, Automagickal Adept
"I think a picture is more like the real world when it's made
 out of the real world."
             - Robert Rauschenberg

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