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Archive for the ‘Visual Art’ Category

Presidential Library Begins Digitization Program

“The entire collection of papers, documents, photographs and audio recordings of former U.S. President John F. Kennedy is to be digitized and made available online.

‘The 10-year project to build a new digital library is a joint collaboration between IT vendor EMC, the JFK Documents to Be Digitized, Published Online and the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.”

“The archives of the Kennedy Presidential Library’s research facilities currently include more than 8.4 million pages of the personal, congressional and presidential papers of JFK, along with more than 40 million pages of 300-plus other individuals who were associated with the Kennedy Administration or mid-20th century U.S. history.”

Andy McCue. JFK Documents to Be Digitized, Published Online. News.com. June 12, 2006.

CopyCense™: The law, business, and technology of digital content. A business venture of Seso Digital LLC.

Written by sesomedia

06/14/2006 at 08:47

Glass & A Fragile Copyright Balance

“Dale Chihuly is perhaps the world’s most successful glass artist. His clients include Bill Gates and Bill Clinton, and his elaborate installations of sea gardens and flower clusters show that mere sand transformed by fire can elevate a casino ceiling to the level of gallery spectacle.

“But now Mr. Chihuly is in the midst of a hard-edged legal fight in federal court in Seattle over the distinctiveness of his creations and, more fundamentally, who owns artistic expression in the glass art world. Mr. Chihuly has sued two glass blowers, including a longtime collaborator, for copyright infringement, accusing them of imitating his signature lopsided creations, and other designs inspired by the sea.

“The glass blowers say that Mr. Chihuly is trying to control entire forms, shapes and colors and that his brand does not extend to ancient and evolving techniques derived from the natural world.”

Timothy Egan. Glass Artists Face Off in Court. The New York Times. June 1, 2006.

Related Stories & Documents:

43(b) Blog. Glass Half Empty, Authorship All There. June 1, 2006.

Maureen O’Hagan. Glass Artist Chihuly’s Lawsuit Tests Limits of Copyrighting Art. The Seattle Times. Dec. 16, 2005.

CopyCense™: The law, business, and technology of digital content. A business venture of Seso Digital LLC.

Written by sesomedia

06/08/2006 at 08:48

Posted in Visual Art

Glass & A Fragile Copyright Balance

“Dale Chihuly is perhaps the world’s most successful glass artist. His clients include Bill Gates and Bill Clinton, and his elaborate installations of sea gardens and flower clusters show that mere sand transformed by fire can elevate a casino ceiling to the level of gallery spectacle.

“But now Mr. Chihuly is in the midst of a hard-edged legal fight in federal court in Seattle over the distinctiveness of his creations and, more fundamentally, who owns artistic expression in the glass art world. Mr. Chihuly has sued two glass blowers, including a longtime collaborator, for copyright infringement, accusing them of imitating his signature lopsided creations, and other designs inspired by the sea.

“The glass blowers say that Mr. Chihuly is trying to control entire forms, shapes and colors and that his brand does not extend to ancient and evolving techniques derived from the natural world.”

Timothy Egan. Glass Artists Face Off in Court. The New York Times. June 1, 2006.

Related Stories & Documents:

43(b) Blog. Glass Half Empty, Authorship All There. June 1, 2006.

Maureen O’Hagan. Glass Artist Chihuly’s Lawsuit Tests Limits of Copyrighting Art. The Seattle Times. Dec. 16, 2005.

CopyCense™: The law, business, and technology of digital content. A business venture of Seso Digital LLC.

Written by sesomedia

06/08/2006 at 08:48

Posted in Visual Art

Microsoft to Challenge JPEG Image Format

“If it is up to Microsoft, the omnipresent JPEG image format will be replaced by Windows Media Photo.

“The software maker detailed the new image format last week at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference in Seatlle. Windows Media Photo will be supported in Windows Vista and also be made available for Windows XP. In a presentation, the Windows Media Photo product manager showed an image with 24:1 compression that visibly contained more detail in the Windows Media Photo format than the JPEG and JPEG 2000 formats compressed at the same level.

“Still, the image in the Microsoft format was somewhat distorted because of the high compression level. Typically digital cameras today use 6:1 compression. Windows Media Photo should offer better pictures at double that level, according to Microsoft. Not only does compression save storage space, which is especially important for devices such as cell phones and digital cameras, a smaller file can also print faster, transfer faster and help conserve battery life on devices.”

Joris Evers. Microsoft Shows Off JPEG Rival. News.com. May 24, 2006.

CopyCense™: The law, business, and technology of digital content. A business venture of Seso Digital LLC.

Written by sesomedia

06/07/2006 at 08:26

Posted in Visual Art

National Gallery of Art Settles Copyright Infringement Lawsuit

“The National Gallery of Art, in Washington, DC, has admitted copyright infringement and agreed to pay two Edouard Vuillard scholars $37,500 for publishing a catalogue that uses their research without authorisation or acknowledgement.

“Annette Leduc Beaulieu and her husband Brooks Beaulieu filed a copyright infringement suit that year in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, charging unauthorised use of their material in the exhibition catalogue of the Vuillard retrospective co-published by the National Gallery of Art (NGA) and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) in 2003.

“The 520-page catalogue includes essays by Guy Cogeval, the director of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and lead curator of the exhibition, as well as by co-curators Kimberly Jones of the National Gallery. Ms. Beaulieu had earlier been contracted by the National Gallery when she was being considered to curate the retrospective. She maintained that research she and her husband submitted was appropriated without their consent for the exhibition catalogue.

“The federal judge sent the case — Beaulieu vs. United States — to mediation and a settlement was reached in March. Under the terms of the agreement, the director of the National Gallery of Art, Earl A. Powell III, sent a letter to the Beaulieus, dated 27 March 2006, acknowledging that portions of their work “were consulted and used.” The letter states: ‘As co-publisher of the exhibition catalogue, the National Gallery sincerely regrets the failure to cite your materials and any harm that this may have caused to your personal or professional reputations.'”

Jason Edward Kaufman. National Gallery Pays Out In Vuillard Plagiarism Suit. The Art Newspaper. May 17, 2006.

CopyCense™: K. Matthew Dames on the law, business, and technology of digital content. A business venture of Seso Digital LLC.

Written by sesomedia

05/19/2006 at 08:55

Posted in Visual Art

Miro Family Asks (And Receives) Removal of Google Logo

CommuniK Commentary by K. Matthew Dames

Interesting, the reaction to Google’s take on surrealist painter Joan Miro’s work. Since 2000, Google Webmaster Dennis Hwang has created original, interesting, and often memorable doodles that appear on the Google home page and incorporate the Google logo.

(In order to protect CopyCense from having to defend against a DMCA automatic takedown, the editors have chosen not to display the Google-Miro doodle or a snapshot of the Google homepage that includes the Google-Miro doodle.)

Last Thursday, Hwang (and we’ll presume it was Hwang) created a doodle to commemorate the anniversary of the 1893 birth of the Spanish painter. Neither Miro’s family nor the Artists Rights Society (ARS), an entity that controls the copyrights to many of Miro’s works, was not pleased, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

The family of Joan Miro was upset to discover elements of several works by the Spanish surrealist incorporated into Google’s logo. Google has since taken the logo off its site.

The Artists Rights Society, a group that represents the Miro family and more than 40,000 visual artists and their estates, had asked Google to remove the image early this morning.

“There are underlying copyrights to the works of Miro, and they are putting it up without having the rights,” said Theodore Feder, president of Artists Rights Society.

In a written statement to the Mercury News, Google said that it would honor the request but that it did not believe its logo was a copyright violation.

It is possible that ARS was concerned about the way in which the doodle portrayed Miro’s work, and in the art world, portrayal and context both are important. Many industrialized countries outside the United States address the presentation and portrayal of visual work through a concept called moral rights. The main purpose of moral rights legislation is to protect the integrity and reputation of visual art by and for the work’s creator.

U.S. copyright law includes analogous legislation, called the Visual Artists Rights Act (“VARA”). Passed in 1990, VARA allows the creator of visual art (including paintings, drawings, prints, photographs or sculptures produced in limited quantities) from having his work mutilated or defaced, or being associated with works that are not entirely his. Under VARA, which is codified in the Act at Section 106A, creators of visual art receive these special rights in addition to all the usual rights the Act affords to copyright owners under Section 106.

Fair use is the only exception to moral rights under VARA. (In contrast, the six rights in Section 106 may be limited by any number of limitations or exceptions that are codified in Sections 107 through 122 of the Act.)

I have heard Miro’s name before, but I concede I was not aware of his work in any, way, shape, or form before Google posted the doodle last week. It is possible that there are several others who were unfamiliar with Miro’s work before Hwang created the doodle. If so, then ARS may have committed a sizable business error in having Google pull down the doodle: the doodle, which linked to a Google search on Joan Miro, may have spurred many to learn more about the artist. This increased recognition may have led to greater interest in Miro’s art, and in turn, higher prices for Miro’s originals and prints.

Further, Feder’s comments conveniently eliminate the possibility that Google and Hwang may have been able to create the doodle pursuant to fair use under Section 107 of the Copyright Act. Since ARS does business in New York City, the entity is subject to the copyright laws of this country, including, but not limited to, the fair use provisions.

In the MercuryNews.com piece, Feder said “the society receives hundreds of requests each day from media organizations who are interested in reproducing a copyrighted work in some form. He said the authorization process is simple: all Google needed to do was send an e-mail asking permission to use the images.”

Fortunately, the viability of fair use does not depend upon receiving permission from the copyright owner or its agent. Nowhere in Section 107 does Congress establish requesting or receiving permission as a condition precedent to fair use. In fact, the whole point of fair use (in addition to many other of the copyright limitations found in Sections 107 through 122) is to be able to use protected works without having to ask for, wait to receive, or receive permission from the copyright owner or its agent.

Of course, copyright owners will not tell you that because it’s not in their interest to do so. Also, they probably don’t tell you that information because they are ignorant about copyright law themselves.

Elise Ackerman. Artist’s Family Asks Google to Take Down ‘Painted’ Logo. MercuryNews.com. April 20, 2006.

See also:

The Patry Copyright Blog. How Copyright is Getting a Bad Name. April 25, 2006.

The Trademark Blog. Google’s Commemorative Logos. April 24, 2006.

CopyCense™: K. Matthew Dames on the law, business, and technology of digital content. A business venture of Seso Digital LLC. CopyCense and CommuniK. are trademarks of Seso Digital LLC.

Written by sesomedia

04/27/2006 at 08:55

PATRIOT Act Used As Pretext For Photo Ban

“Since 2003, the NYPD has been filming protesters at political demonstrations, regardless of whether anything illegal’s going on. City lawyers were in court last month defending the practice, arguing that what happens in public view is fair game.

“But police evidently aren’t so keen on surveillance when the cameras are turned on them — particularly when those cameras show them abusing free-street-parking privileges.

“On March 27, two volunteers from the advocacy group Transportation Alternatives (TA) were detained for taking pictures of police officers’ private cars, which were parked on the sidewalk outside the Fifth Precinct in Chinatown. The volunteers say they were held and questioned at the precinct for about 20 minutes and instructed to erase the pictures.

“A researcher for the city’s Rent Guidelines Board, who took pictures for a survey on TA’s behalf, says the officers listed several reasons they could not photograph cops’ personal vehicles—including concerns that if the license plate numbers were published online, gang members could track police to their homes. And he mentioned the Patriot Act.”

Sarah Ferguson. Watching the Detectives. The Village Voice. April 10, 2006.

CopyCense™: K. Matthew Dames on the law, business, and technology of digital content. A business venture of Seso Digital LLC.

Written by sesomedia

04/21/2006 at 09:00

Posted in Visual Art

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