Intellectual Property in an OS Culture

Copyright, as a component of intellectual property law, was originally established to preserve the right of authorship and also to serve as a property right and commodity that could be assigned, sold and licensed to others. While there is a logic at work between the relationships of owners or authors and physical artworks and artifacts – a logic of scarcity and a bounded relationship between people and things; reproducible media, in particular digital media, and immaterial goods, like ideas, or information, undermine and question this logic.

This seminar will explore the inherent tension and in some cases conflict between authorship and artistic expression. Beginning with an initial overview of the history and legal frameworks of US and UK copyright law, within the larger scope of intellectual property law and moral rights, students will establish a grounding and conceptual framework to develop their own critical approaches towards knowledge and cultural production within contemporary art.