Remix Fairness, A Closer Look.

Remix Fairness, A Closer Look.


My friend and colleague Michael Branson Smith shared this great piece with our CT101 class this past week – Its very timely and speaks to artists of all kinds – “Andy Baio is a software developer for Kickstarter writes and speaks about his experience being sued by a photographer and is forced to settle and pay thousands of dollars. This is despite the fact he believes the law is on his side and so does his pro-bono counsel the EFF.”

Questions to address in the comments section below ::

  1. What did think about the presentation?

2. How has this presentation solidified or changed your point of view or awareness on the subject of remix and reuse culture?

3. How does this information effect the way you may or may not promote yourself as an artist on the web?

( Make sure that you read Andy’s blog post here as well -> writes <- )

6 thoughts on “Remix Fairness, A Closer Look.

  1. This presentation was definitely interesting, and although it was long I think the content was very important for us to hear as emerging artists. It was interesting to me how the ‘laws’ of copyright and infringement seem like they change depending on each individual case. While we were discussing In class, we saw some examples where it didn’t seem like the case should has been won.. for instance — Jeff Koons sculpture of the two people with dogs. Yes, he definitely used the same composition. But I feel like there were so many changes on other ways that I don’t think he should have been sued. First, the fact that it was a sculpture and not a photograph. He also added things such as flowers in the people’s hair, making the dogs blue with white noses, etc.

    It’s definitely scary seeing how easily you can be sued for copyright violation. As artists, I feel that using reference pictures is very important. There are so many ways that using a reference picture could get you in trouble where it wasn’t intended. As we learned, even if the original image is manipulated so much that it is hardly recognizable that it was used as your reference, it can still be a problem.

  2. Andy Baio’s Ted Talk was a great perspective on copywright. It was interesting to find out about how useless writing some of the disclaimers are on the bottom of YouTube videos. I definitely agree with Nancy’s post below that it does seem like each case of copywright infringement is individual. It’s common knowledge these days that 2D artists are expected to formulate images that are original in some way, but as we got into it, the Jeff Koons sculpture really made me second guess my sculptural work and even the references I use. This is the new age conversation of the old Barthes question “does an artist work become afflicted if they create it with the viewer in mind or the sale of the work in mind?” Now we must constantly be worrying if we saw an image somewhere that could have subliminally inspired our work, or if we’re using a reference image that would create controversy.

  3. This presentation was definitely great to widen my horizons. There was something bothering me, how does copyright infringement work? Especially in the differences between cultures. It shows that people have different definitions of copyright infringement.I n the western world, everyone has a very strong sense about protect of copyright. Like in Silicon Valley, copyright and patent infringement suits are a dime a dozen. But in China, if we hear of some case about copyright infringement, it often appears that a few titles follow: “Nobody accuses a well-known company” or perceived as a “Rat race”. We often focus on the identity of the accused of both sides,not the nature of things.
    As a not well-known graphic designer,it’s really really hard to protect the copyright. Just like I post my work on the net, I want people to know me and to promote myself. Soon, after someone copies my work, and then I argue with him, he always has a variety of reasons, excuses of fuzzy copyright infringement of this concept. Once the things got complicated, no one likes to take the time to deal with “The case of unknown results”.
    For me, I used the image from the net as the work that I always do. I apply the material to my work, not a complete copy. I don’t think if changed it a lot, it has always been regarded as plagiarism.

  4. I really enjoyed this discussion and presentation. I feel like everyone “knows” what is copyright and what is fair but there are so many different and scary situations where it may have been fair but people have still gotten sued. As said in class I really feel it is a gamble. Which is a problem because many artists, as myself, are dare devils and rule breakers. That is why we are artists is because we want to bend the rules and see what we can get away with. If you offend someone though, they will sue you. Could be jealousy that they did not have the idea or out of pure anger. I feel though that remixing or using something as a reference there is a fine blurry line and sometimes you may not even realize you are crossing it intentionally. I find myself in this position all the time and 99% of the time I say to myself “well it is not exact, just similar.. so it cannot be that bad.” My thoughts will now changing considering I don’t make enough money to be sued for something like this.

    I love the remix and reuse culture. It is used in so many different ways not just in art and it fascinates me how so many different people can relate. People of all ages come up with artwork and music that it transforms completely and yet still has a hint of something else. Its connection to history and culture of time, really cool stuff. It’s interesting to see though how people do not feel the same way and when someone is using an image or beat or whatever from someone else – they are insulted, I would feel an extreme amount of joy. Someone thinks something I created was so great that they want to use in it their own work? Why not! However, I do see the point of it being unfair if they are making a lot more money on it than I would be —

    At the end of the day its mixed emotions about putting work on the web. It is the WEB. Thousands upon thousands of people are on there and your work may end up in the hands of someone who does not have the right intent. You should be knowledgeable enough though to understand that when you hit that post button. One person can ruin everything you have hoped for your artwork on the web – it is up to oneself to understand that.

  5. Artist Manifesto:
    1.The R’s: Reflect, Research, Rebuild, Reference
    2.Starting a new work is the hardest part
    3.Use multiple materials
    4.Go back to old work
    5.Take opinions
    6.Work big and small
    7.Be inspired
    8.Create for you, not for others
    9.Excitement will complete work
    10.Make everything the best work

  6. The presentation spoke to issues that can happen to any one of us. Copyright is complicated but very important. We as artists want to protect the plagiarism of our work, but when we use even slight appropriation it can get us into trouble. I have learned the difference of “Transformative Works” and “Fair Use” and how there are many factors that can sway either towards a lawsuit. As an artist and someone who works with images constantly, I am always worried about getting releases and covering my bases. Everything that I put on the web can be copied or misused, but as artists we must not let that fear stifle us from creating. I think we all just have to be much more mindful of the consequences. After hearing about “Kind of Screwed” I now worry even more!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s