From: Katharine Thayer (email@example.com)
Date: 08/29/02-12:47:09 PM Z
This got buried under subsequent discusssions and I just now dug down
deep enough to unearth it. Galina's question is an important question
and I'm sorry it got less response than some of the other things that
have preoccupied us of late.
Being a person who thinks and works independently, I've never understood
why anyone would want to copy someone else's style or work, but I've
heard that it's common for students to copy their teachers for a while
before they grow into their own style. How to distinguish imitation from
a copyright violation is tricky. Carl is right; a style can't be
copyrighted but a work can be copyrighted. So if they copy your style in
works that don't directly resemble pieces you have done, it's probably
annoying as heck but not much you can do about it.
> "what would you do if someone stole your idea, your picture, your >subject, your manner?"
Someone did steal my idea once, ripped it off in a remarkably callous
and hurtful way. He was so arrogant about it that he didn't even bother
to change the name; he shows the body of work he made from my idea using
the title I gave the idea when it was mine. I was very angry about it
for a while, but finally I realized that the man has no creativity or
originality of his own, and that's why he has to rip off ideas from
other people, and why his work is so sterile and soulless, even though
the technique is very good. The fact is he hasn't advanced the idea at
all in the three years or so since he stole it from me, and never will;
he's still where I was on it three years ago, while for me the idea has
evolved and changed and developed in several different directions in my
own work (although I don't use the title any more because it is so
aversely connected with him in my mind) so in the end I have nothing
really to fear from him. He stole one idea, but he couldn't steal the
mind that the ideas come from, and I think this is an important thing to
remember. Your art is unique, it's yours, and any attempt to imitate it
will fail in authenticity and originality; they may steal the surface
look of your style but they can't steal the creative impulse, the unique
person that ensouls the work and makes it real and meaningful, that
makes it speak to people.
That said, if anyone ever directly copied any of my work, or used it to
make a derivative work without my permission, they would be getting a
letter from my lawyer.
It also might be good to review copyright law with your students; I get
the impression that art students don't always understand the basics of
copyright and the fact that no one but the owner of the copyright can
make a copy or a derivative work, without specific permission.
Galina Manikova wrote:
> There has been a discussion on the list lately which handled not only about
> the technique, but on the content of the pictures.
> Which is encouraging me to bring up a touchy subject of imitation or
> I am bringing it up because I am having troubles with the matter all the
> time. During my teaching sessions, my exhibitions, my lectures I present my
> own work for my students, colleagues and the wider public. After a short
> while I always find somebody imitating my work without any reference or
> I am sure I am not the only one with such experience. That is why I want to
> bring up this subject and ask you all to reflect on the matter. To help you
> with it I want to ask a few guiding questions:
> -How do we differ between plagiarism and inspiration ? coincidence and copy
> ? reply and homage ?
> -What would you do if you discover that someone has stolen your idea, your
> picture, your subject, your manner ?
> -Is there an international institution that is dealing with that matter ?
> There is an organisation here in Norway that is protecting artists
> copyrights against commercial misuse, but they are not willing to deal with
> competition and disagreements between the artists themselves.
> I would like to know if there is a place to go elsewhere ?
> Anyway, it is difficult to touch the subject, as there are no clear lines of
> definition for how to compare two works of art. Is that the subject, the
> technique, the style or something else we should take into consideration ?
> Or is there some kind of manifest on the matter ?
> There has been a funny programme on the radio here today about a case in
> England where two companies are quarrelling about the copyrights for a music
> line called "silence" (which is a line of complete silence on the record, no
> sound at all). Who owns the silence, they asked. Two different people seam
> to want the rights (John Cage and one more, I do not remember the name). A
> lot of money involved.
> I would appreciate your reflections.
> Galina Manikova
> Alternative alternative
> Storgata 13
> 3183 Horten
> Phone/fax: ++ 47 33 03 91 00
> E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : 09/19/02-11:02:51 AM Z CST