Artists Who Fear Copyright

The Globe and Mail turns its attention to copyright law this morning with a feature on the Appropriation Art coalition that has brought together hundreds of Canadian artists who have called on the government to reject anti-circumvention legislation and to expand the current fair dealing provision so that it covers other fair uses.  The article does a nice job of highlighting how copyright is often turned against artists with stories of artists being asked to destroy their work by groups such as CRIA based on claims that the works themselves infringed copyright.  As one artists rightly points out, "We're at a point now where they [federal politicians] are drafting the legislation and they're consulting with the industries but not the artists."  With artists speaking for themselves, that must change.


  1. Daniel Moore says:

    Although it would create a legal migrane, one way to address the interests of such ‘artists’ is to clarify in law the difference between independent or small collaborative works, and those produced by ‘industires’, referring to the terms above. As in the case with Hollywood and the (pop) music industry, sometimes one industry’s concerns creates legislation which acts as an umbrella for artists who may or may not have the same copyright needs.

  2. Robert Labossiere says:

    The worst that can happen
    As an artist who works almost exclusively with appropriated materials, I have a stake in the issues. However, I also feel myself to be removed from the debate. On some level I really don’t care what the music industry wants or what the state decides to do. I believe it is my right to re-present critically the world around me and, moreover, that that’s what the world wants me to do. I would be interested in hearing someone imagine the worst case scenario for copyright and how it would play out. After all, if all copying were without exception impossible unless explicity permitted, how badly off would we be exactly? I suspect the scenario would be so repressively repugnant that even the mercenaries of the recording industry could not stomach it.

    Love your site. Keep on truck’n.

    – Rob

  3. Greg Hagen says:

    Ethics, Creativity & Copyright Conferenc
    The Ethics, Creativity & Copyright conference in Calgary/Banff, August 3-5, 2006, is having a panel on appropriation art presented by members of the Appropriation Art Coalition.

    See for further information.

  4. Portrait Artist says:

    Non-artists should also put themselves in the shoes of the people in the world of Art. At least they should also feel concerned with the so called intellectual property rights.

    One way of stopping the conflict is by properly classifying which work is ART itself and which ones is just mere COMMERCIAL WORK. Here, the people and the authority should recognized the the need for prior art searches and to be skeptical of invention promoters.