Art at Risk: Copyright, Fair Dealings and Art in a Digital Age

A comprehensive online research report about Copyright has just been released by Dr Susan Ballard and Pam McKinlay of Dunedin School of Art, Otago Polytechnic. Titled Art at Risk: Copyright, Fair Dealings and Art in a digital age, the report is a collection of research materials about Copyright, Fair Dealings and Art in a Digital Age. It has a New Zealand perspective, offers information for classroom situations, and has been freely released undera Creative Commons license. Co-author Pam McKinlay writes:

From Flickr to Facebook to YouTube students engage both still and moving digital images and negotiate different permissions and database resources every day. In this research project we sought to develop guidelines around how to approach the use of digital images – and answered some of the questions that students ask everyday: What can you download from YouTube? Is everything on Flickr available to use? Can I cut this image up and call it my own? What happens if I upload my project to Facebook?

Continue reading

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) The Next Cause For Concern

Hot on the heels of ACTA, the Trans Pacific Partnership is the next cause for concern in an ongoing line of potential threats to our creative freedom. Like ACTA, the negotiations are again happening in secret, and leaked reports show that extreme copyright laws are once again on the agenda, although it seems that the NZ Government has an admirable stance going into the negotiations. TechLiberty reports: “The fourth round of negotiations for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) starts in Auckland today. Nine countries are meeting to develop a free trade agreement covering a wide range of goods, but it looks as though the copyright maximalists are using it as an excuse to push their extremist position yet again…Just like with ACTA, information is escaping and NZ’s position paper on intellectual property has been leaked. It shows that the New Zealand government opposes a further extension of intellectual property rights saying that the economic arguments to do so are weak.”

Part of the document from the New Zealand Government reads: “The expert analyses show that capitulating to US demands in the vain hope of some concessions on dairy access will carry a high price, jeopardising the affordability of medicines under Pharmac and fettering our ability to strengthen our own innovative capacity.”

Holloway-Smith to Give Reading at Enjoy Public Art Gallery

CFF Director, Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, will be giving a reading at 12.30pm tomorrow, 3 November 2010 at Enjoy Public Art Gallery, L1/147 Cuba St, Wellington. The reading is from the Casco Issues: Past Imperfect, as part of the current exhibition Charming the Snake of Reason, curated by Marnie Slater.

The piece is a witty investigation of Bill Gates and his hypocrisy in relation to open content, Microsoft, and Gates’ subsequent corporation – Corbis – a large digital rights-holding company.

Continue reading

Internet a Necessary Lifeline in Christchurch

Our thoughts are with Cantabrians amidst the chaos, devastation, and upheaval of this life-changing disaster, where the Internet (through Twitter) is replacing the radio. Christchurch art historian, curator and writer Cheryl Bernstein writes about her experience of the earthquake(s):

For a couple of days, our legs were rubbery, our knees wobbling. The floor rose to meet us. We weren’t sure at times if the shakes were real or imagined. After some of the real aftershocks, ones in which the house banged and rattled and mortar rained down the roof, my hands were trembling so much it was difficult to hold my mobile phone, which didn’t leave my hand or my pocket for five days straight. When we lost coverage for an hour or so on the first day when the emergency batteries ran down in the cellphone towers, I knew to expect it—and that it would be temporary—through what I’d read on Twitter. Twitter was an immediate source of necessary information, reassurance, companionship. Critically, my phone felt like a lifeline to the outside world, to places where the lawn wasn’t covered in bricks and entire shop-fronts hadn’t fallen into the street and the river hadn’t changed its course and cracks so big a man could stand waist deep in them hadn’t appeared in the roadway. A line to the old real life.

Moral and Digital Rights for Artists

Marking the 10th Anniversary of both Australia’s DMCA equivalent The Digital Agenda Act 2000, and The Moral Rights Act 2000, this ABC discussion on moral rights and digital rights for artists is well worth a read or listen.

“Artists in particular are tetchy about their creations. Understandably they don’t want the meaning of their works twisted or distorted. And of course they don’t want others to reproduce their work without permission. But with everything being online these days, what tangible rights do artists have? Should they just go with the digital flow, or should they use all the legal weapons available to them?”

The discussion between interviewer Damien Carrick, Professor Matthew Rimmer of ANU Law School, and Brent Salter, legal academic at Macquarie University Law School covers issues ranging from Michael Palin and Monty Python’s response to various copyright situations, the YouTube vs Viacom dispute (recently won by YouTube), and several interesting case studies of moral rights disputes in Australian theatre.

Professor at the ANU Law School

Johanna Blakely: Lessons from fashion’s free culture

Presented at this year’s TED conference, this talk by Johanna Blakely on lessons that other creative industries can learn from fashion’s lack of copyright protection is well worth the watch. From the YouTube post: “Copyright law’s grip on film, music and software barely touches the fashion industry … and fashion benefits in both innovation and sales, says Johanna Blakley. At TEDxUSC 2010, she talks about what all creative industries can learn from fashion’s free culture.”

The PDF of her talk can be found on her project website: Ready to Share. “The Ready to Share project explores the fashion industry’s enthusiastic embrace of sampling, appropriation and borrowed inspiration, core components of every creative process.”

Food for thought…

Copyright Amendment Bill Submissions Due This Week

Select Committee submissions on the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill — the former s92A — are due this Thursday 17 June. The bill can be read here and information on how to make a submission is here.

Of course, we will be making a submission based on feedback we’ve been getting from members. Let us know if you’ve got something to add by contacting us, or commenting on this post.