Andreas Broeckmann abroeck at transmediale.de
Wed Dec 15 14:15:18 CET 2004


Date: Friday 3 and Saturday 4 December 2004 
10 AM. - 12:30 PM   2:30 PM - 5 PM

Organization: Centre for Contemporary Images, Saint-Gervais Geneva

To whom do images belong?
Identification with the images peopling our daily landscape, whether
in the media or in advertising, naturally leads artists to give in to
their influence and use them as a raw material when elaborating their
work. This is how contemporary artists regularly fall foul of the law
and find themselves involved in litigation because of their
appropriating other's work and transposing it into the field of art.
Who then is the owner of these images? The creator? The buyer of the
object? The photographer? The artist? Or the 
public that enjoys the use of them?

The growing trend to legislate to the extreme and privatize the
public domain raises very real questions as to the value and
ownership of an image. What leeway in terms of freedom of expression
remains to artists vis-à-vis a situation whose legal implications and
restrictions that are ever more complex? Liberty versus protection,
protection versus liberty. How are we paradoxically to protect the
work of artists, who are themselves afraid of copies and often find
themselves powerless when faced with a situation rife with conflict?

The protection afforded a work of art and an artist or writer through
economic and moral rights is well known and clearly regulated. Yet a
certain disconnect and mutual incomprehension characterize the
relationship between contemporary art and law. The constant evolution
of art and its transgressive nature clash with a well-established
system of law and the difficulty it has with integrating and
interpreting the work of art. Recycling, pastiche of images,
reappropriation, remake, plagiarism or quotation, do the courts
always make allowances for art? And at what price for artists?

The DROITS D'IMAGES symposium will bring together artists, art
critics, legal specialists and other professionals from various
backgrounds (philosophy, economy and history) to explore the complex
relationship between art and law and help members of the audience to
better grasp the question in turn. The symposium comprises four
sessions, which will delve into the notion of the author and his or
her rights, the definition of a work of art and its originality, the
question of the protection that is extended to art and its limits,
and above all the new perspectives that are taking shape as
alternatives to copyright law, particularly in the digital domain.
The symposium will also tackle the economic, political and legal
implications of these questions thanks to the range of themes
Protection for artistic freedom of speech will of course figure in
the discussions. The aim of these talks is to generate positive
avenues of investigation and thought while leaving a record of the
exchanges in an official document to be drawn up at the end of the
symposium. Such a publication will reflect the proposals and
solutions imagined by participants and will begin to pave the way for
other concrete legally based actions. Artists' films, specific
projects and performances will also be presented over the course of
the symposium. A practical guide on the copyright law for artists,
designers and other professionals in the field of art is scheduled
for publication in the spring of 2005 (in French and German).

Charlotte Mailler

FRIDAY 3 DECEMBER 2004	10 AM - 12:30 PM (doors open at 9:30 AM)

Copyright and contemporary art: current situation and the issues at stake

1.	Management of a public collection of images
	Fonds iconographique de la ville de Genève/BPU

2.	Copyright and contemporary art (to be confirmed)
		Olivier ZAHM, art critic, co-director and editor of
Purple Institute, Paris

3.	The role of rights management societies vis-à-vis contemporary art
Werner STAUFFACHER, head of the law department of ProLitteris, a
Swiss rights management society in Zurich

		Beginning with the statement "ideas and the creation
of works of art change and have always changed, but the protection of
copyright remains and will always remain in force", Werner
Stauffacher will demonstrate the immutability of and the need to
respect copyright law today. He will also present copyright law and
its application in contemporary art as well as the regulatory role
played by management societies in this field. Finally, he will sketch
out a survey of what lies ahead for management and the application of
copyright law in the field of art.

4.	Image, to be or to have
		Marie-José MONDZAIN, philosopher and director of
research, CNRS, Paris

Image as property? This expression is troubling because it throws
together two contradictory questions. The property of a thing means
what properly belongs to it and contributes to its definition, but
can likewise mean that the thing in question is the property of
someone who holds it in his or her possession. On the one hand then,
we have the power that defines being, while on the other the
domination of possession. If images are indeed a property of humans
just as speech and laughter are, by what twist of history do we today
think of ourselves as owners of them?

5.	Artists and image law: practice and the law in Switzerland
Christian PIRKER, attorney and member of the Geneva bar, graduate of
the Ecole du Louvre

Christian Pirker will present aspects of Swiss law having to do with
images. Mr. Pirker's overview, which aims to offer practical advice
above all, examines copyright and its characteristics. He will cover
such topics as the quality of the protected work of art, the extent
of and exceptions to that protection, and finally the consequences of
its violation. He will also touch on the limits imposed by the penal
code as to representation of pornography and violence. Mr. Pirker
will conclude his talk with an examination of a right that is often
confused with copyright, that is, the right of a person as a legal
entity and his or her representation, the right of each person to the
use of his or her own image.

Moderator: Agnès TRICOIRE, attorney and member of the Paris bar,
specialist in intellectual property rights, and delegate of the
Centre for research in artistic freedom of speech, the League for
Human Rights, Paris

FRIDAY 3 DECEMBER 2004	2:30 PM - 17 PM (doors open at 2 PM)

Protection, legitimacy and protection limits

1.	What legal protection(s) for contemporary art?
	Edouard TREPPOZ, senior lecturer in law, University of Lyon III

Mr. Treppoz will examine the application of copyright law in
contemporary art. His assessment is pessimistic, given the difficulty
for a certain number of contemporary works to satisfy the conditions
of form and originality. All the same, this rejection of copyright
doesn't leave such works without protection. It is the artists
themselves who are prompting the experts to come up with other types
of protection, including personality copyright, patent rights, and
unfair competition laws.

2.	Owning culture: artistic creation and transmission of cultural heritage
Dominique NOAH, advisor-researcher for the Fine Arts at the Amsterdam
School for Cultural Analysis, member of IPJustice, an international
civil liberties organization promoting balanced intellectual property
laws, Canada

Starting with a brief overview of the relationship between ownership
and authorship, this presentation identifies one dead-end situation
that exists for the artist. Artists, on the one hand, must act in a
rather unprotected way, negotiating payment and contracts, while on
the other, they run the risk with the new work being done now of
increasing infringement of legally protected cultural property. What
if the legal setting needs to be changed?

3.	The protection of artists' works under UK copyright law
Daniel MCCLEAN, lawyer, co-editor of Dear Images: art, copyright and
culture, London

This presentation examines the scope of protection afforded to
artistic works under UK copyright law by reference to statute and
case law. It addresses how  UK copyright law defines artistic subject
matter as well as inscribes and limits the degree of protection given
to artistic works (against reproduction) through techniques such as
the idea/expression dichotomy. The lecturer further looks at
potential points of conflict between the legal conception of art and
contemporary avant-garde artistic practices. It focuses on concrete
examples and examines in particular differences in the concepts of
"work", "originality" and "expression.

4.	Copyright interpreted by artists: creativity vs. protection
Nathalie HEINICH, sociologist, researcher, CNRS, Paris

Taking as her starting point several cases of the legal difficulties
raised by contemporary art, Ms. Heinich, based on an analysis
developed with the attorney Bernard Edelman, will look into the way
artists use, reappropriate, extend or restrict the notion of moral
right and a work of the imagination. She wonders in particular to
what extent making art takes place "against" protection in the sense
of an exchange (which raises the question of the limits of art's
impunity), and to what extent it tends in practical terms to test the
very legal privileges it enjoys, acting then "against" its own
protection (which in turn raises the question of censorship and its
current delegitimation).

Moderator: Marc-André RENOLD, attorney, lecturer at the University of
Geneva, co-director of the Art-Law Centre, Geneva

SATURDAY  4 DECEMBER 2004	10 AM - 12:30 PM (doors open at 9:30 AM)

Freedom of speech, art and transgression, censorship

1.	The censors' tools
Agnès TRICOIRE, attorney and member of the Paris bar, specialist in
intellectual property rights, and delegate of the Center for research
in artistic freedom of speech, the League for Human Rights, Paris

Ms. Tricoire will sketch out a rather disturbing and restrictive
legal situation in France in terms of individual freedoms of speech.
French law includes a range of disparate arrangements that could
affect works of art because of their content. In some instances, the
laws allows for a priori censorship; far from being called into
question, these regal powers have been reinforced today. Ms. Tricoire
will then move on to look at copyright law and the essential
conventions concerning human rights and the freedom of artistic
creation, in order to see whether the tools for a legal exception to
protect works from censorship are in fact adequate or need to be

2.	Presentation of mediation and arbitration as alternative
methods for resolving conflicts in the field of art
Ignacio de CASTRO, Head - Information and External Relations Section,
Arbitration and Mediation Center, World Intellectual Property
Organization (WIPO), Geneva

WIPO has been active in the field of arbitration and mediation for a
number of years. Mediation has gone through significant development
recently and could present one interesting solution for resolving
conflicts in the field of art. The approach involves an extralegal
procedure for settling lawsuits between individuals and private
companies, a solution that is often relatively inexpensive and quick,
and which involves specialists in the fields in question. Mr. de
Castro will present the concept of mediation and its advantages, as
well as its possible application in the art world.

3.	A) Offensive forms vs. works of the imagination: the
necessary immunity of art
B) Copyright vs. freedom of interpretation: the indisputable price of glory
Olivier BLANCKART, artist, Paris

Occasional art critic, Mr. Blanckart has published in various
periodicals several combative texts on the visual arts in France. He
has notably analysed the current redeployment of censorship in light
of recent developments in law and social mores. The question of
censorship with regard to the trend towards confiscational
interpretations of copyright laws will also be examined.

4.	Criticism and truth
Stéphanie MOISDON, exhibition curator and art critic, co-director of
the publishing and production company of contemporary works of art,
bdv-artview, Paris

Starting with her experience as a critic and curator of art shows,
Ms. Moisdon turns to several recent examples that bring to light the
mechanisms of credit and distinction, or rejection and
disqualification in contemporary art practices. She will try to
distinguish the changes affecting our culture with respect to the
central question of ownership, which underpins the dominant discourse
nowadays on the notions of representation, manipulation and

Moderator: Christian PIRKER, attorney and member of the Geneva bar,
graduate of the Ecole du Louvre

SATURDAY  4 DECEMBER 2004  2:30 PM - 17 PM (doors open at 2 PM)

Legitimacy of copyright, Net Art and copyleft

1. Thinking on the foundations of intellectual property, from Proudhon to GNU
Dominique SAGOT-DUVAUROUX, economist, professor at University of Angers

The economic debate over intellectual property in the 19th century
pitted two concepts against each other. For one school of thought,
the author or inventor is the natural owner of his or her creation
and society must above all aim to protect that property, even if that
protection harms the general good. For the other school, the rights
of intellectual ownership are a convention meant to stimulate
creativity for the general good of society. The tensions between
these two concepts largely clarify contemporary questions touching on
the notion of copyright.

2.  Libre software for the Freedom of Creation (in English)
JAROMIL, free software programmer, media artist, Italy

In the panorama of existing operating systems, there are a great
number of possibilities for listening, that is, all kinds of
"free-to-download" players for audio and video, but no easy way for
people to speak up and spread their words. The way communication is
structured obeys a hierarchy of well-established powers; what is
worse, money is the main requirement for disseminating a voice and
making it possible to be heard by others. We continue to share our
knowledge, even though proprietary software is spreading dependence
and slavery throughout the populace, under the aegis of capitalism.

3. The future of copyright law in the Internet age
Jacques DE WERRA, attorney, lecturer at the University of Geneva,
co-director of the Art-Law Centre, Geneva

The Internet poses numerous challenges to copyright law, witness the
revolution now affecting the music industry following the explosion
of the (largely illegal) market for music on line. The application of
copyright law in the realm of the Internet tends moreover to provoke
increasingly sharp oppositions, with some making the case for free
access to digital content (via a broader recognition of the public
domain). This then raises the question of determining how copyright
law is going to evolve in the new environment of global digital

4. copyright © 2004, cornelia sollfrank (in English)
Cornelia SOLLFRANK, artist, Hamburg/Celle

In her lecture Cornelia Sollfrank demonstrates how limited the legal
concept of authorship seems to be when it comes to the production of
an image in which machines, codes, and interactive users participate.
Exemplified by one image of her "net.art generators" the artist
discusses all possible options of "who has made that image?" and
comes to some surprising findings...

Moderator: Edouard TREPPOZ, senior lecturer in law, University of Lyon III

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