We told you about the copyright-flouting “Illegal Art: Freedom of Expression in the Corporate Age” exhibit and website back in October because we flipping rule. The NY Times is just getting around to it:
- It sounds like a plan for drawing hordes of screaming lawyers to your door: create compilation CD’s with sampled music from the likes of the Beatles, James Brown and Johnny Cash, not to mention the voice of Dan Rather; include as many songs as possible that have already sparked legal battles; do it all without getting permission from the copyright owners; and distribute the CD’s at a nationally touring art exhibition.
Oh yeah, and give the music away online for the millions of people around the globe who can’t make it to the show.
So far this operation has not sparked even a lawyer’s angry voice mail, said Carrie McLaren, curator of the exhibition, “Illegal Art: Freedom of Expression in the Corporate Age,” where the potentially inflammatory CD is available free, and of its Web site, illegal-art.org.
“They know it’d be like a minefield,” said Ms. McLaren, who contends that the music, visual art and video pieces in the installation are protected by the “fair use” provision in copyright law that allows for parody and commentary. The exhibition, she says, takes the potentially illegal and makes it untouchable.
Check out the site, it’s the coolest and the “parody and commentary poison pill is brilliant. Best of all, the “art” status is self-described. Why is it art and thus okay to stomp all over copyright law? Because they say it is – classic.
The exhibit moves to Chicago from January 25 – February 21. Also on the site is a fascinating “Copyright and Music: A History Told in MP3’s” section, and one of the more interesting User Agreements you will ever find:
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If you can’t beat ’em, copy them whole and call it parody.