McLaren, Carrie. "Illegal Art: Freedom of Expression in the Corporate Age." illegal-art.org :: A Project of Stay Free! magazine. 2002. Stay Free! magazine. 22 November 2006. .
This is the web site of the "Illegal Art" exhibition which has traveled the United States in the past year. The site contains a copy of curator Carrie McLaren's introduction to the show, in which she states, "The laws governing "intellectual property" have grown so expansive in recent years that artists need legal experts to sort them all out... If the current copyright laws had been in effect back in the day, whole genres such as collage, hiphop, and Pop Art might have never have existed... Should artists be allowed to use copyrighted materials? Where do the First Amendment and "intellectual property" law collide? What is art's future if the current laws are allowed to stand? Stay Free! [the magazine sponsoring the "Illegal Art" exhibition] considers these questions and others in our multimedia program." The site also includes a gallery of the various pieces included in the exhibit, which include a Mickey Mouse gas mask, photographs of Barbie dolls in kitchen appliances, a re-interpretation of the Starbucks logo as a "Consumer Whore", and various pieces including the "DeCSS" program. Many of the artists involved in the "Illegal Art" show were or are the targets of legal action by the holders of the copyrights to the works they appropriated.
The "Illegal Art" website is definitely a valuable resource in the creation of my project; through the gallery of the included works, I will be able to see how other creators used appropriated materials to comment directly on the nature of copyright issues. The artists involved in the exhibition used many different media to create their pieces, including a number of video pieces.
Cardamone, Richard J. Art Rogers v. Jeff Koons; Sonnabend Gallery, Inc. National Coalition Against Censorship. 28 November 2006. .
This case is an appeal of the earlier Rogers v. Koons decision. Art Rogers took a photo titled "Puppies", depicting a man and woman holding armfuls of puppies; the photograph became very popular on greeting cards. Later, Jeff Koons took a postcard with the photo on it, removed the copyright notice, and planned the creation of a sculpture titled "String of Puppies." He specified that the sculpture be as similar to the original photo as possible, due to its use in an exhibition titled "The Banality Show" featuring art based on pop culture and commonplace images. Although the photo was in black and white, the sculpture was in full color. Three "String of Puppies" sculptures were sold for $367,000 each. Rogers sued Koons for infringing on his copyright; Koons claimed his work was a parody of the original, and therefore a fair use. The court found that the two works were substantially similar, that Koons had access to the "Puppies" photograph (and, in fact, actively worked to create a piece very similar to the original). The court did not find an specific necessity for the use of the "Puppies" photo that was being commented upon explicitly by Koons' sculpture, and therefore did not uphold his claim of a parody.
This case is very significant for being one of the first instances in which appropriation art came to trial for a copyright violation. Significantly - and keeping with the trend in many later cases - art using appropriated content lost. Although this particular case had many of the hallmarks of a decision against fair use - willful, known copying, economic profit from the work, etc. - it still shows a tendency of the court to dismiss this kind of art as copyright infringement. As I will be working with appropriated content on my final project, it is useful to know how court cases involving other appropriated-content works have turned out.
Slater, Derek. "Take Another Little Piece of My Art." Illegal Art | Creative Commons. July 2003. Creative Commons. 28 November 2006. <http://creativecommons.org/image/illegalart>.
This article describes "Illegal Art", a traveling exhibition which was displayed at the SF MOMA Artist's Gallery in July 2003. The show contained pieces in a variety of media, with a full-length CD and several films and videos in addition to various two- and three-dimensional artworks. Carrie McLaren, curator of the exhibition, began working on an appropriation art exhibit in response to unsuccessful challenges to copyright term extensions; the goal of the exhibit was "to make copyright's problems as real to the average person as they are to [the] featured artists".
The article attempts to place the "Illegal Art" exhibition in the context of the larger legal debate surrounding appropriation art by comparing the pieces in the show to famous copyright cases, such as the 2 Live Crew case. The author also pays close attention to the economic constraints place on appopriation artists by licensing fees, cease-and-desist letters, and other tools of copyright permission holders. Overall, the article sides firmly with the validity of the art and the necessity for its legalization - no surprise, considering that the article is written for the Creative Commons. Succintly summarizing his point, Slater writes, "Had these legal limitations [on appropriation art] existed years ago, perhaps collage, rap, and Pop Art would have been sued to death before they ever had a chance to flourish. These days, the implication is that these appropriations are lower artforms, deserving legal treatment suited to petty thievery."
This article will definitely be very helpful for my project; it provides a general background on the use of appropriation art to comment driectly on copyright issues.