Given the expense and uncertainty of lawsuits, how does the comedy community enforce the proscription on joke theft? Part of an ongoing Slate series called The Humor Code.
Illadore was surprised to see her article about apple pie published in Cooks Source without her knowledge. After asking for an apology and a donation to the Columbia School of Journalism, Cooks Source editor Judith Griggs responded in an email that "I do know about copyright laws . . . But honestly Monica, the web is considered 'public domain' and you should be happy we just didn't 'lift' your whole article and put someone else's name on it!"
Reading in the traditional open-ended sense is not what most of us, whatever our age and level of computer literacy, do on the Internet. Books cease to be individual works but are scanned and digitized into one great, big continuous text. The dynamics of the digital are encouraging authors, journalists, musicians and artists to treat the fruits of intellects and imaginations as fragments to be given without pay to the hive mind. But what becomes of originality and imagination in a world that prizes metaness and regards the mash-up as more important than the sources who were mashed? The very value of artistic imagination and originality, along with the primacy of the individual, is increasingly being questioned in our copy-mad, postmodern digital world. Remix is the very nature of the digital. But do we now face a situation in which culture is effectively eating its own seed stock?
Guitarist Joe Satriani sues Coldplay over Viva La Vida (audio). Satriani's version: If I Could Fly (audio).
Illustrators up in arms. Darren De Lieto, owner of Little Chimp Society, recently received word that his work and the work of 93 other illustrators has been used without permission in a dubious 350-page book entitled Colorful Illustrations 93ºC, being sold online and in bookstores for $100. With the rise of copyright-shaky China and the revitialization of the Orphan Works Act, are artists rights becoming more precarious? (Via Drawn!)
Most well known for his "Obey Giant" street posters, Shepard Fairey has carefully nurtured a reputation as a heroic guerilla street artist waging a one man campaign against the corporate powers-that-be. Infantile posturing aside, Fairey’s art is problematic for another, more troubling reason - that of plagiarism.
Two students sue Turnitin for copyright violations. "All of these kids are essentially straight-A students, and they have no interest in plagiarizing," said Robert A. Vanderhye, a McLean attorney representing the students pro bono. "The problem with [Turnitin] is the archiving of the documents. They are violating a right these students have to be in control of their own property." (via) (obligatory link to the Best. Thread. Ever)
The Columbia Law School Music Plagiarism Project is a repository of the music industry's most famous copyright infringement cases of the past 100 years. Each case contains links to samples of the original song and the alleged infringer, and there's even a song list for easy browsing. (My favorite: Gilbert O'Sullivan v. Biz Markie).
Unmitigated gall, Part Deux...no, it's not déjàvu. Some folks simply have no respect for the work of others.