:: freedom of expression
in the corporate age
The laws governing 'intellectual property' have grown so expansive in recent years
that artists need legal experts to sort them all out. Borrowing from another artwork --as jazz
musicians did in the 1930s and Looney Tunes illustrators did in 1940s-- will now land you in
court. If the current copyright laws had been in effect back in the day, whole genres such as
collage, hiphop, and Pop Art might have never have existed. The irony here couldn't be more stark.
Rooted in the U.S. Constitution, copyright was originally intended to facilitate the exchange
of ideas but is now being used to stifle it.
The Illegal Art Exhibit will celebrate what is rapidly becoming the 'degenerate art' of a corporate
age: art and ideas on the legal fringes of intellectual property. Some of the pieces in the show
have eluded lawyers; others have had to appear in court. Loaded with gray areas, intellectual
property law inevitably has a silencingeffect, discouraging the creation of new works. Should
artists be allowed to use copyrighted materials? Where do the First Amendment and 'intellectual
property' law collide? What is art's future if the current laws are allowed to stand? Stay Free!
considers these questions and others in 'Illegal Art' multimedia program.
The exhibition sponsors are *Stay
Free! magazine* (on American media and consumer culture), *Internet
Archives* (digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form),
*Prelinger Archives* (one of the world's
largest collections of ephemeral films), *Illegal
Art* (record label focussed on audio artists who use sampling), and *Detritus.net*
(online gallery/library dedicated to recycled culture). >from *Illegal
What's Original, Anyway? By Kendra Mayfield. Wired, october 10, 2002
> kingdom of piracy:
piracy as net art form. october 2, 2002