Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Not a good idea! ... the copyright debate!

So I put this on the "March against Mining" Facebook group. With "Not a good idea." Copyright Amelia Hitchcock 2010. My copyright for this particular artwork, and more specifically for the photo of it. Various people "like it" as is the trend on facebook... but then... someone points out that it's identical to Peter Madden's work. Well, it's not. It's similar, the techinque is basically the same, but are you going to accuse every painter of copying every other painter? 
"Roxanne Hawthorne
Amelia have you seen the work of Peter McMadden? Your work is very similar. In fact it's identical."
Well the work of his she's referring to, and it's Peter Madden, not McMadden can be seen here (Peter Madden himself jumped in at this stage):!/photo.php?pid=4860504&id=556242891 
As you can see - Not identical. I pointed this out. Mines a hardcover New Zealand book. He's cutting magazines.. different purpose.. etc.etc. 
My friend Em joins into the fray, albeit on my page:

Em Davidson Hiya - wrt that mine cut from the book - I can show you a precedent a few years old if you're curious, and tired of people saying that madden invented the concept - it's been done a bunch of times :D (along with everything else imaginable). I'd have to get my camera back first though, I just photographed the pic this m...orning - from a book called "map art". (I'm working with geography atm) - this is nice tho.

and mentions another book artist: Noriko Ambe pictures of her other work found here.

Beautiful work. Anyway, back on the No Mining Mum comments (never one to be left out of anything!) and then a stranger I don't even know wades in (on my side!)

Dug Stuart
From what I understand, u can copyright an expression of an idea, but u cant copyright an idea.
So - as far as NZ copyright law goes - these are two different expressions of the same basic idea.
These two works are most definitely NOT identical. Only the basic idea behind the idea is the same.

I prefer this version myself. It looks a lot more realistic, and credible. But thats just my take.

As expected, this got a response from Peter. 

Peter Madden mmmm i am not that interested in a discusion as to whoes is better and whoes is not... i was just curious as to what Amelia had copyrighted[ as I had used a similar format many mounths] .lets say in the context of these two works or more broadly speaking the visual expresion of any given thing would be the disernable difference in its ... See morevisuality or say in this case the lack there the way dug just saying-as far as NZ copyright law goes- means nothing lends no veracity to your maybe Amelia you can tell me what exactly ,it is you have copyrighted?
Dug Stuart
It was merely a passing comment by myself Peter. I mean no disrespect as far as your art goes. We all have our own unique likes and dislikes.
As far as I know - it is not about discernable difference. It is about making unauthorised copies.
If Amelia saved your art, and then modified it - that would be copyright infringement. As she would ... See morehave used your work without your permission.
If Amelia saw your art, and decided that she liked the idea, enough to make her own version of what u have portrayed - then that is not an infringement of copyright. She has not Copied your work. Rather, she has imitated it, in her own way.
I merely mention NZ law - as that is what I am more familiar with. I am assuming other countries have similar laws (assumption on my part only).
There's some sort of backtrack here, or the internet had lead everyone to be confused in the beginning about Peter's tone: 
Peter Madden
dug i think you have got confused i am not saying amelia has infringed my copyright i was just interested in what this artist had imajined they had copyrighted

Amelia Hitchcock
The copyright is for the photo of this particular artwork. I am aware of your work, Peter, and have great admiration for it and that of the many other artists that work with books as a medium. This was purely a gut response to the mining debate that is currently circulating. I attended the march, and made this many weeks before - purely as something which I hoped would visually provoke people into thinking about the physical nature of the destruction wrought by mining. 

Dug Stuart
Doh!!! Next time I will try and keep my mouth shut :) Sorry Peter - ur right - I did think u were inferring that. Thanks for putting me straight :)
Peter Madden
cool im not a mean arse just interested in an intelectual discusion, around copyright , and yep think i got it here very thought ful good luck amelia ...hey every body here i have a show at michael letts on the 19th of may come along to dug
And from then on it turned into a bit of a plug fest! 
The reason I'm posting this is that it is interesting in terms of New Zealand arts culture. Peter Madden makes some brilliant art, but he's not the only artist to have ever attacked a book with a scalpel. Having been discussing this a lot lately, it seems pretty typical. (some) New Zealander's know Madden, and his art, and like the Australia pavlova debate, claim him as ours and defend him as a matter of Pride. We all made comments based on assumption of tone in a public forum. As Em puts it, a lesson in ettiquette.

Em Davidson
there is something useful I've gotten from this - I'd heard his name before, but hadn't seen his work.

So the first I saw of his work was after reading his snarky comment about patents - and it didn't live up to his hype - If I'd looked at some of his resolved work before reading his comment I might be more impressed, but that's not how it worked out - I guess it's a useful lesson in netiqite for me as an artist :D

No comments:

Post a Comment