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Shepard Fairey and Fair Use

MC Jack in the Box
permalink   Sat, Feb 7, 2009 @ 3:32 PM
I just posted a blog about this but I’m curious to what others thoughts are on this.

I hope that a larger discussion of fair use and the creative commons model will include a spotlight on how successfully we do things here, sort of a shining, successful example of the new paradigm.

maybe we could get victor to do a dog and pony PPT show. :)
permalink   Sat, Feb 7, 2009 @ 6:27 PM
PPT? Isn’t that one of those closed source proprietary formats? ;-)
permalink   MC Jack in the Box Sat, Feb 7, 2009 @ 6:37 PM
ha, yeah, i guess you could say that’s one of them inconvenient truths…but it was good enough for al!
permalink   spinmeister Sat, Feb 7, 2009 @ 7:30 PM
the cool kids are using alternatives :-)
permalink   essesq Sat, Feb 7, 2009 @ 11:17 PM
They most certainly are … and happy free souls they are too … geez how long did it take for me to become a “cool kid”????
permalink   Sun, Feb 8, 2009 @ 11:29 AM
ok - to chime in on what you actually asked for, before I sidetracked the issue.

First of all: why I side-tracked this thread by mentioning the proprietary and closed nature of PPT. While I’m not condemning proprietary work (in music, in software or anywhere else) in principle across the board, I do have rather strong sentiments against proprietary monopolies or near-monopolies or cartels. I also believe that us advocates of open music are of kindred spirit with advocates of open technology standards and open source software. That’s why I promote open source software and open technology formats whenever I can.

Finally to the original issue of where the line should be drawn between fair use and plagiarism:

I believe that this is a really hard call to make. And I also suspect that our opinions are often swayed by issues of who “owns” the original, and who remixes or creates other derivatives. I suspect our sentiments are influenced by a sense of little guy vs. big corporation. Should that have any influence on the discussion? There are arguments either way.

Is this particular case of the legendary Obama poster really precedent setting, or will it go one way or the other on a court’s perception on the derivative being too close to the original vs. being original enough. Your Andy Warhol analogy rings very appropriate. It makes the case, that things tend to look very different a few years after the fact.

I think the creative commons approach and licensing mechanism - and of course ccMixter - elegantly side-steps the issue and creates a parallel universe of artists making a point of allowing others to copy, quote and derive.

However even in our parallel CC universe we have gray areas, including:

* Does attribution only need to be maintained one generation prior, or should it be maintained across multiple (all?) derivative generations (e.g. a remix of a remix of a remix).

* Where is the line between commercial and non-commercial? For example, if I post a BY-NC remix on a site with Google ads, is that commercial use or not?

I’m not trying to initiate a discussion of these issues here (anyone wanting to do that, go over to creativecommons.org). However I want to say, that this is not only a legal minefield , but it’s very complicated to draw up good principles, which could be agreed upon by large groups of people. I think the CC licenses are the best we have so far and I’m hugely grateful, but imho they only represent the beginning of a journey, just like the first 4 years of ccM are just the beginning of a journey, where none of us know quite yet where it’s headed.

One thing I can say though: I do love my travel companions here at ccM!
permalink   zotz Fri, Feb 13, 2009 @ 5:35 AM
This is not exactly on topic as it is not speaking to timely fair use, but for a long time I have had the notion that if we are to have the copyright protections that current laws provide (and I do not include some of the newer criminal parts here, they are way over the top in my view) then the protection should be much shorter. Why? Well, my notion is that when a person becomes an adult, the works that shaped their childhood should be free for them to build on.

Some thoughts on a “Copyright Offensive”