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Illegal Art

Freedom of Expression in the Corporate Age. This is an exhibit and website flaunting copyrights:

    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 silencing effect, 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 our multimedia program.

    VISUAL ARTS EXHIBIT
    New York City: November 13 – December 6, 2002
    CBGB’s 313 Gallery (313 Bowery)

    Chicago: January 25 – February 21
    In These Times bldg. (2040 N. Milwaukee)

    Featuring murdered Disney characters, the Colonel Sanders mandala, a Texaco-laced doily, and more.

    FILM & VIDEO FEST
    November 14-17, 2002
    Anthology Film Archives

    George W. Bush meets the Teletubbies, Barbie tries a new job, Pikachu (of Pokemon fame) makes a friend, and more. Watch digitized versions of the films and videos.

    NYU PANEL DISCUSSION
    November 15, 7 p.m.
    Mark Hosler of Negativland
    Howard Besser, (Associate Professor of Cinema Studies and Director of the Moving Image and Archiving Program, New York University)
    Natalie Jeremijenko, technoartist and design engineer
    Steven Feld, Professor of Music and Anthropology, Columbia University
    Meg McLagan (moderator), Asst. Professor in the Anthropology Department, New York University

    MUSIC
    A free compilation CD will be given away at exhibit events, featuring “illegal” tracks from Public Enemy, Negativland, John Oswald, the Beastie Boys, and more. Click here for MP3’s and liner notes.

    Live show: Sunday, November 17 @ Tonic (107 Norfolk St. NYC)
    with Christian Marclay and Negativland’s Mark Hosler
    plus Evolution Control Committee

    Also, check out Copyright and Music: A History told in MP3’s.

    For in-depth information about copyright law and its impact on free expression, please see Copyright Articles, Illegal Art Links, and the forthcoming “copyright” issue of Stay Free! magazine.

They have a most impressive User Agreement as well:

    ELECTRONIC END USER LICENSE AGREEMENT FOR VIEWING ILLEGAL ART EXHIBIT WEBSITE AND FOR USE OF LUMBER AND/OR PET OWNERSHIP NOTICE TO USER: BY METABOLIZING YOU ACCEPT ALL THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THIS AGREEMENT INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, USE OF YOUR HOME AND CAR BY THE AUTHORS OF THIS AGREEMENT.

    This Website End User License Agreement accompanies the Web Pages and related explanatory materials (“Crap”). The term “Crap” also shall include any upgrades, modified versions, or repaintings of the Website licensed to you by either The Prince of Wales, a sentient washing machine, or my old Rabbi (the one who used profanity). Please read this Agreement carefully. At the end, you will be asked to accept this agreement and provide this Website with a warm, lingering, creepy hug. If you do not wish to accept this Agreement, simply click the “I do not accept” button while forcefully shoving your computer off the back of your desk (“Card Table”).

    Upon your acceptance of this Agreement, this Website grants to you a nonexclusive license to use this Website or your own Shoes (“The Dressy Ones”), provided that you agree to the following:

    1. Use of the Website.

    1.1 You may use this Website on a hard disk or other storage device. On a scrap of drywall with a Sharpie, install and use the Website on a file server or a tomato server for use on a network or a VHS copy of the motion picture “Network” or for the purposes of (i) permanent installation onto the small of your back at the base of your spine via a tattoo or other storage devices or (ii) for providing the illusion of working while at work (using the following methods of deception: looking intently at the screen, moving the mouse, and typing decisively on the keyboard); and make backup copies of the Website for later printing and spreading out in an alley to make a nice bed.

    1.2 You may make and distribute unlimited copies of the Website, including copies for commercial distribution, as long as each copy that you make and distribute contains this Agreement and is created in one of the following media: carved out of ice, as in an ice sculpture centerpiece; smeared in mustard on the side of a white or off-white panel van; or taught to a parrot who is then condemned to fly the earth for eternity, incessantly repeating the mantra of this Website.

    2. Copyright and Trademark Rights. The Website is owned by its authors (“the Elks Clubs of America”) and its suppliers. Its structure, organization, and code are the valuable trade secrets of the Freemasons, probably. The Website is also protected by United States Copyright Law and a group of big, scary goons who will happily beat you until you’re ejecting teeth like a winning slot machine. Use of any trademark does not give you any rights of ownership in that trademark, jackass. Except as stated above, this Agreement does not grant you any intellectual property rights in the Website. Got it, fucko?

    3. Restrictions. You agree not to modify, adapt, translate, reverse engineer, decompile, disassemble or otherwise attempt to discover the inner motivations, dreams, aspirations, or weird, possibly sexual fantasies of the Website.

    4. No Warranty. The Website is being delivered to you AS IS and we make no warranty as to its use or performance. WE DO NOT AND CANNOT WARRANT THE PERFORMANCE OR RESULTS YOU MAY OBTAIN BY USING THE WEBSITE. LOOK, WHEN THIS WEBSITE GOES ALL CRAZY AND DESTROYS YOUR COMPUTER, KILLS YOUR PET, SLEEPS WITH YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER, DIGS UP ALL YOUR OLD POETRY AND LAUGHS AND LAUGHS, THEN CALLS UP YOUR FRIENDS AND READS THEM ALL THOSE REALLY EMBARRASING PARTS OUT OF YOUR JOURNAL, LIKE WHEN YOU SAID YOU WERE “DESTINED FOR BEAUTY” OR SOME SHIT LIKE THAT, WE MAKE NO GUARANTEES AND WILL SIMPLY JOIN WITH EVERYONE AND LAUGH AT YOUR SORRY ASS, BECAUSE DAMN, THERE’S NO FREAKING WARRANTY HERE. GET IT? NO WARRANTY. NONE. AT ALL.

Food for thought, no? Check out examples of video, visual and audio exhibits before they are sued out of existence. The “Copyright and Music: A History Told in MP3’s” section is fascinating as well.

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: [email protected], Facebook.com/amhaunted, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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