Thursday, February 1, 2007

Copyright, copyleft

Here are some of the sites that I mentioned in our discussion of the use of artistic material in electronic form. Illegal Art appropriates copyrighted and trademarked material to make a political statement, and sites like Mashuptown advocate derivative art as the natural progression of inspiration to collaboration. Jonathan Lethem is giving away 60 of his own stories, with certain restrictions, here; in an article in the current Harper’s, he argues against art being intellectual property: “The Ecstasy of Influence.” Some of Lethem’s examples come from Lawrence Lessig’s open source philosophies, which underpin the tenets of Creative Commons, a free copyright resource which allows artists to share, reuse and remix legally and allows sites like ccMixter and electrobel to flourish. When we make our eZine, we’ll have to decide whether to create material, appropriate existing material, solicit original material, use open-source material, or mash of all these options. Then, we’ll have to decide if and how to copyright the eZine itself. So take a minute to look at some of this, especially Stanford’s own Lessig; here’s one of his lectures in flash.

And just for fun, here’s the Communist Manifesto illustrated by copyrighted cartoons, a Sims2 recreation of a mashup of mashups and an ACDC/Dan Rather mash called “Rocked by Rape.”

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