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January 08, 2003

Looks like the writer William

Looks like the writer William Gibson has just started a blog. About time!

Illegal Art This traveling exhibit (which I just missed, damn it!), subtitled "Freedom of Expression in the Corporate Age," tests the boundaries between artistic freedom and intellectual property law. For instance, a cd of copyrighted music (some of which appears without permission) is being given away at the exhibit; it's also available online. The exhibit explores the disconnect between the intent of copyright and the purpose of the public domain, and how defenses of copyright today seem to be more about protecting existing properties whose rights should have lapsed (for instance, Disney and its trademarks for Mickey Mouse), with the result that fewer works are flowing into the public domain, and new creative works are stifled in the name of copyright protection.

Copyright, according to the Constitution (Art. I, Sec. 8, clause 8): To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries. Copyright was designed as a protection to reward writers or other artists by allowing them to profit from their works, but also limited in time, in order to promote continued creativity in the form of new works. Currently this period lasts 95 years in the U.S., thanks to the Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act. The constitutionality of this extension is up for review by the Supreme Court this term.

Yours, &c., LC | 02:31 PM | Legal