8 votes

Tal R – Danish artist seeks to stop his work being cut up to make watches

5 comments

  1. [5]
    mycketforvirrad
    Link
    The verdict from the court came through: Danish court rules artist's work cannot be cut up to make watches – The Guardian.

    The verdict from the court came through:

    3 votes
    1. [4]
      Greg
      Link Parent
      I know little of Danish copyright law, but this seems like an awful ruling for the simple reason that the work was not being copied. It's not a derivative work in the usual sense of a new piece...

      I know little of Danish copyright law, but this seems like an awful ruling for the simple reason that the work was not being copied. It's not a derivative work in the usual sense of a new piece being based on (and duplicating) the ideas of an old one, it's a new work physically using one specifically purchased copy of the old one.

      Dictating what someone else can do with their own physical property does not seem a just use of intellectual property law, and if this sets a precedent I can easily see it being used as a justification for any number of companies to prevent product owners from modifying or repairing items they own.

      8 votes
      1. [2]
        balooga
        Link Parent
        I totally agree. This whole thing is a ridiculous publicity stunt, but still... When an artist creates something and sets it free in the world, it's no longer theirs to shepherd. The new owners...

        I totally agree. This whole thing is a ridiculous publicity stunt, but still... When an artist creates something and sets it free in the world, it's no longer theirs to shepherd. The new owners can do as they wish with it— or should be able to, anyway.

        In a way this reminds me of companies like Apple and John Deere doing everything in their power to prevent customers from modifying their own hardware after purchase.

        5 votes
        1. pallas
          Link Parent
          This is not the case in most countries: authors/artists retain "moral rights" to their works, which are separate from "economic rights." In many countries, unlike economic rights, moral rights...

          When an artist creates something and sets it free in the world, it's no longer theirs to shepherd. The new owners can do as they wish with it— or should be able to, anyway.

          This is not the case in most countries: authors/artists retain "moral rights" to their works, which are separate from "economic rights." In many countries, unlike economic rights, moral rights can't even be transferred. The Berne Convention describes them in article 6bis:

          Independently of the author's economic rights, and even after the transfer of the said rights, the author shall have the right to claim authorship of the work and to object to any distortion, mutilation or other modification of, or other derogatory action in relation to, the said work, which would be prejudicial to his honor or reputation.

          The rationale here is to protect attribution and the author's personal reputation, regardless of how the work is transferred.

          In this case, as the article on the verdict notes, an important element was that that the provocateurs were specifically making the products about the artist. That they were free to cut up the piece and make watches was not in question; the dispute arose because the watches would be marketed “specifically as having Tal R’s painting as background."

          4 votes
      2. asoftbird
        Link Parent
        This already is a huge issue in architecture, where remodeling an existing building can be blocked by the original architect.

        number of companies to prevent product owners from modifying or repairing items they own.

        This already is a huge issue in architecture, where remodeling an existing building can be blocked by the original architect.

        4 votes