Intellectual Property in an OS Culture

In today’s knowledge economy with instantaneous access to online content, coupled with the ability to reproduce and distribute content readily through digital technologies, copyright law presents a complex and contradictory constellation of legal, cultural, economic, and technological issues that raise a multitude of questions, particularly in relation to the contemporary arts.
Cultural sampling and appropriation, and intellectual property law will be examined in light of the development of open source technologies and new licensing models as contemporary strategies for cultural production. Through in-depth analysis of international case studies, the perspectives of various stakeholders including artists, curators, collectors, galleries, museums, archives and other cultural repositories will be examined for the ways in which their interests overlap and clash. Computer and technological platforms enabling user-generated content – such as Web2.0, YouTube, MySpace, Flickr, and Wikipedia – will also be discussed in the context of emerging network publics.

Course Outline:
I. The Dollar Sign / Copyright and the Law
II. The Statue of Liberty / Artists’ Expressive Rights
III. Campbell’s Tomato Soup Can / Intellectual Property in Art
IV. Self-Portrait (Green Camouflage) / Artistic Strategies and Tactics
V. Two Quartz Watches / Legal Strategies and Frameworks
VI. Hammer and Sickle / Proposed Case Histories
VII. Screen Tests / Networked Publics

Recommended readings:

Dowling, Emma, Rodrigo Nunes and Ben Trott. ‘Introduction’, The Ephemera Journal Immaterial and Affective Labour: Explored,
Guattari, Félix ‘Capital as the Integral of Power Formations’, in Soft Subversions, New York: Semiotext(e), 1996
Hardt, Michael and Antonio Negri. Empire. Harvard University Press, 2000.
ISBN 0-674-00671-2, selected chapters
Lessig, Lawrence, ‘Free Culture The Nature and Future of Creativity’, ISBN 10 14 30.3465 0 (paperback)
McClean, Daniel, ed., The Trials of Art, London : Ridinghouse, 2007.

McClean, Daniel and Schubert, Karsten eds., Dear Images: Art, Copyright, and Culture, London : Ridinghouse ICA, 2002.
Vaidhyanathan, Siva, Copyrights and Copywrongs: the Rise of Intellectual Property and How it Threatens Creativity, New York : New York University Press, 2003.
Varnelis, Kazys, ed. Networked Publics, MIT 2008


Marysia Lewandowska and the Women’s Audio Archive residency project/ CCS Fall 2009
Double Archive, Harun Farocki, Kendell Geers, Goldin&Senneby, Wade Guyton, Pierre Huyghe, Zbigniew Libera, Julia Melzer and David Thorn, Philippe Parreno, Cesare Pietrouisti, Seth Price, Open Music Archive, Oliver Ressler, Situationists, Hito Steyerl,
Kelly Walker