Wednesday , September 19 2018
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It’s Okay, It’s Art

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:

    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.

If you can’t beat ’em, copy them whole and call it parody.

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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