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Pirate policies. Are government funded artists willing to give up their rights to the work? [With poll]

By johnboy - 19 September 2012 47

While the pirate campaign launch is still to happen down at Lake Burley Griffin the pirates have released a slew of policies.

Most of it is unlikely to get much argument but my god check this out:

The Pirate Party will seek to ensure that a proportion of Arts ACT grants are awarded
to artists who adopt creative commons licensing.

Forcing artists to give up the rights to their work in exchange for public funding?

Creative Commons licensing of Government funded art

View Results

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And because it is talk like a pirate day:

alestorm

What’s Your opinion?


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47 Responses to
Pirate policies. Are government funded artists willing to give up their rights to the work? [With poll]
p1 6:55 pm 19 Sep 12

colourful sydney racing identity said :

housebound said :

When the rest of us sign any standard short or long-form contract with government, there is a clause that assigns some form of copyright over to the government. Usually it is “all copyright”, sometimes it is “all copyright”, but agrees to attach the creator’s name to the work – effectively granting moral copyright.

Moral copyright is what artists and creators of other works should fight tooth and nail to retain.

Contrary to what some on this forum claim, you can sign your copyright away. And contrary to what the Pirates seem to think, it is often the case that government contracts force people to sign some or all rights away. That said, I haven’t seen any contracts for the public art we have had inflicted on us.

Really, the whole policy seems a bit odd when you look at it like this. I’d like to see some further explanation from the Pirates, because I don’t believe they want to strip moral copyright for a minute.

Huh?

When I have produced work for the government, it has always been very clear that what I produce is wholehearted their property. 100%, no ifs, buts or maybes. But then I have never produced anything artistic. I have, however, contracted graphic designers to do work for a department, and again, the product they have produced belonged to the customer.

The art world is different in this respect to almost everything else. I imagine that it is the way the unique abilities if artistic people have been recognized over the development of the current status quo.

Would be interested to see more detail about how the pirates actually see this working. Will it mean the government will have the right to on-sell miniatures or any future phallic owl purchases?

c_c 6:03 pm 19 Sep 12

DrKoresh said :

Damn. I’m… not sure what to think. I kind of love the idea and I kind of hate it. I definitely think C_C spat the dummy when he said

c_c said :

And Glen, you and the Pirate Party are free-loading leeches on society.

Arguing that your policy will be good for artists because it will enable them better exposure and allow others to make derivative works shows that you have neither an understanding of the arts, nor a respect for artists. You treat the arts sector with disdain, dressed up as care in a manner most disingenuous.

Copyright is the law, copyright is what fuels innovation. And best of all, copyright is automatic under Commonwealth law and international treaties and cannot be displaced by Creative Commons.

I don’t know how he can accuse you of essentially being anathema to the arts sector, seems to me he’s either not involved in it himself or he is and has a very high opinion of his own work.

I love the idea of there being more modern and quality ideas in the public domain, and I can see it creating interest in making art where perhaps there was none before. ‘

You’re not getting my vote, not this time around, if you’ve got yourselves together enough next time around to register as a proper party I’ll definitely reconsider though. Good luck.

Dr Koresh,

I am very involved in the arts and also read a significant amount about what is happening both in Australia and overseas in several areas of the visual arts. So I speak with a fair amount of insight and research to back up what I say.

Luckily I don’t derive much income from the arts, nor have I ever had the intention of making it a career, so this wouldn’t affect me. It would however affect a lot of people, and the industry as a whole over time.

What I am saying is quite simple, public money going into the arts should be seen as an investment, the product of which is the artist’s work.

Most grants already contain requirements for the work being displayed and distributed when complete. This includes ArtsACT grants, so that’s one of Pirate Party’s argument’s negated.

Many grants contain strict controls on what the money can be used for, so it must go into materials, not capital expenses or living expenses. This is also the case with ArtsACT.

Now if we want to give the public something else back from the investment in arts, let’s make a requirement that any return generated by the artist on their work is to be returned in part to ArtsACT for reinvestment in other grants and programs.
And rather than give it away for free under CC, licence it for a nominal fee so the taxpayer generates a return that can be reinvested in the arts. All without negating the artist’s rights.

It’s fairer for the artist, protects the arts sector, and benefits the taxpayer and community.

What the Pirate Party is proposing benefits no one, except those wishing to use the work of others for free, rather than compensate them or produce their own. It doesn’t benefit the arts, it doesn’t benefit tax payers, it doesn’t support the arts community and it ultimately threatens it.

What the Pirate Party proposes is unfair and punitive – it will only target those artists funded by ArtsACT who create non-physical works. Those who create physical art forms wouldn’t be affected.

This isn’t surprising because if you read the Pirate Party’s policies, they believe intellectual property is inferior to physical property and isn’t real.

Or to quote them:
Real property is something that you can touch. In simple terms, if one person possesses it, another person cannot possess it at the same time. Intellectual property is information. If a person makes a copy of a song, the person who owns the original is not deprived of the song.

The Pirate Party even goes so far as to argue along the lines of natural law, that copyright and ownership of ideas is a manufactured concept, and isn’t valid. Their argument is essentially along the lines of socialism and anarchy.

DrKoresh 5:27 pm 19 Sep 12

Damn. I’m… not sure what to think. I kind of love the idea and I kind of hate it. I definitely think C_C spat the dummy when he said

c_c said :

And Glen, you and the Pirate Party are free-loading leeches on society.

Arguing that your policy will be good for artists because it will enable them better exposure and allow others to make derivative works shows that you have neither an understanding of the arts, nor a respect for artists. You treat the arts sector with disdain, dressed up as care in a manner most disingenuous.

Copyright is the law, copyright is what fuels innovation. And best of all, copyright is automatic under Commonwealth law and international treaties and cannot be displaced by Creative Commons.

I don’t know how he can accuse you of essentially being anathema to the arts sector, seems to me he’s either not involved in it himself or he is and has a very high opinion of his own work. I love the idea of there being more modern and quality ideas in the public domain, and I can see it creating interest in making art where perhaps there was none before. ‘

You’re not getting my vote, not this time around, if you’ve got yourselves together enough next time around to register as a proper party I’ll definitely reconsider though. Good luck.

colourful sydney rac 5:26 pm 19 Sep 12

housebound said :

When the rest of us sign any standard short or long-form contract with government, there is a clause that assigns some form of copyright over to the government. Usually it is “all copyright”, sometimes it is “all copyright”, but agrees to attach the creator’s name to the work – effectively granting moral copyright.

Moral copyright is what artists and creators of other works should fight tooth and nail to retain.

Contrary to what some on this forum claim, you can sign your copyright away. And contrary to what the Pirates seem to think, it is often the case that government contracts force people to sign some or all rights away. That said, I haven’t seen any contracts for the public art we have had inflicted on us.

Really, the whole policy seems a bit odd when you look at it like this. I’d like to see some further explanation from the Pirates, because I don’t believe they want to strip moral copyright for a minute.

Huh?

c_c 5:05 pm 19 Sep 12

housebound said :

When the rest of us sign any standard short or long-form contract with government, there is a clause that assigns some form of copyright over to the government. Usually it is “all copyright”, sometimes it is “all copyright”, but agrees to attach the creator’s name to the work – effectively granting moral copyright.

What contracts contain such clauses?

housebound 4:41 pm 19 Sep 12

When the rest of us sign any standard short or long-form contract with government, there is a clause that assigns some form of copyright over to the government. Usually it is “all copyright”, sometimes it is “all copyright”, but agrees to attach the creator’s name to the work – effectively granting moral copyright.

Moral copyright is what artists and creators of other works should fight tooth and nail to retain.

Contrary to what some on this forum claim, you can sign your copyright away. And contrary to what the Pirates seem to think, it is often the case that government contracts force people to sign some or all rights away. That said, I haven’t seen any contracts for the public art we have had inflicted on us.

Really, the whole policy seems a bit odd when you look at it like this. I’d like to see some further explanation from the Pirates, because I don’t believe they want to strip moral copyright for a minute.

Mysteryman 2:07 pm 19 Sep 12

I think this is a good idea. I would like to know what kind of a “proportion” they are thinking. I certainly can’t see the harm in trialing it.

If the government is going to fund something like art, I think the public should have the greatest possible access to it (beyond standing and staring at it). This isn’t a suggestion to force all artists to give up their rights – we are talking about *some* grants, and only those artists who agree with the CC licensing need to apply for them. If artists don’t like the idea, then they won’t apply for the grants and the idea can be scrapped.

Deref 1:59 pm 19 Sep 12

What better day to release their policies?

Arrrrrrr, me hearties!

And I support Creative Commons licensing 100%.

c_c 1:42 pm 19 Sep 12

harvyk1 said :

…obviously a grant would not permit gov’t co to have access to your entire back catalog or any future works.

Well, obviously. Not sure where that idea came from?

harvyk1 said :

A creative commons license can prevent companies from using an artists work for free to make large profits without having to attribute the artist (and / or without having to actually pay the artist).

So does copyright. The difference is with copyright alone, companies need to ask artists, they can’t just take.

Look at any magazine, newspaper, or their electronic equivalents, and you’ll see images attributed to artists under creative commons, usually in very tiny print. Not all CC works allow commercial use, but a lot do.

Every time you see that, an artist has given away their work for free while a company has made a profit. And the more that happens, the fewer artists, designers and photographers media companies will keep on staff or choose to hire.

Ultimately, what Pirate Party is advocating has nothing to do with supporting artists, or supporting the community. It has nothing to do with ensuring work is seen or shared because copyright as it stands now doesn’t inhibit any of that.

What they’re advocating is freeloading. The right to take what they want, when they want, for free and to do with it as they please.

It’s self serving. And because of how they’ve chosen to dress it up, it’s also very dishonest.

harvyk1 12:24 pm 19 Sep 12

harvyk1 said :

Second of all, technically if an artist has been given funding for a project, it would not be too much of a stretch of the imagination (or law) to think of the gov’t as the client, and therefore any work produced by the artist to actually belong to the client (in this case the ACT gov’t), and in that case it would be up to the client to decide what sort of usage rights are attached to that work.

I should probably clarify this, any work done as part of the grant, obviously a grant would not permit gov’t co to have access to your entire back catalog or any future works.

Also whilst I think about it, even in open licensing arrangements, there are degrees of open licensing as well, from the “this is free, and if you even think about using my work, anything you produce must be as free as well.”, to the “this is free, you may use this and reference this as you like, but you can not change it or remove my name from it”. To the “this is free, use this in any way you like, you are not bound by any terms”.

It should be mentioned, Creative Commons is not the removal of all licensing, it is simply a licensing structure which allows re-use for certain predefined purposes, under certain conditions without needing to obtain permission from the original author. A creative commons license can prevent companies from using an artists work for free to make large profits without having to attribute the artist (and / or without having to actually pay the artist).

c_c 12:06 pm 19 Sep 12

harvyk1 said :

c_c, it appears you have no real concept of copyright.

First thing, copyright can be cancelled out by creative commons. If I create something I can easily say “I no longer want rights to this piece of work, anyone may use it” and automatically copyright goes right out the window.

Oh dear, someone telling someone they don’t understand something while demonstrating they do not understand it themselves. Own goal for the win.

Creative Commons does not cancel copyright. Nothing does, short of releasing the work into the public domain, in which case Creative Commons doesn’t need to apply because the work no longer has an IP owner.

Creative Commons is a ‘licence’ – necessarily it can only exist along side copyright, in addition to it, but never usurping or replacing it, because ironically, it is only with copyright protection that creative commons can exist and the CC licence can be granted.

harvyk1 said :

Second of all, technically if an artist has been given funding for a project, it would not be too much of a stretch of the imagination (or law) to think of the gov’t as the client, and therefore any work produced by the artist to actually belong to the client (in this case the ACT gov’t), and in that case it would be up to the client to decide what sort of usage rights are attached to that work.

Very rare for the client to attain copyright, it’s certainly not automatic, for under law it resides with the automatically resides with the original creator.

But as the ACT Government is the ‘client’ and ACT taxpayers the investor, I would expect a portion of any return the artist makes to be returned to the community. And that is why I would rather see the artist be contractually bound to return a portion of any commercial return made on the work to ArtsACT.

As for not having a duty to feed artists, let’s go after the welfare bludgers blowing Cenrelink cheques on booze and smokes, popping out kids they can’t afford first. Then we can talk about what artists do and don’t deserve.

harvyk1 11:50 am 19 Sep 12

c_c, it appears you have no real concept of copyright.

First thing, copyright can be cancelled out by creative commons. If I create something I can easily say “I no longer want rights to this piece of work, anyone may use it” and automatically copyright goes right out the window.

Second of all, technically if an artist has been given funding for a project, it would not be too much of a stretch of the imagination (or law) to think of the gov’t as the client, and therefore any work produced by the artist to actually belong to the client (in this case the ACT gov’t), and in that case it would be up to the client to decide what sort of usage rights are attached to that work.

Third, the world does not owe artists a living. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good piece of art work as much as the next person, and I have no qualms in gov’ts giving money to arts projects. But an attitude of “it’s not fair it’s not fair, won’t somebody please think of the artists” does not fly with me. I know it’s more than possible for someone to make a living from their art alone (my sister for example), and she didn’t do it by sitting there waiting for a handout, she got off her arse and did things about it.

c_c 11:32 am 19 Sep 12

And Glen, you and the Pirate Party are free-loading leeches on society.

Arguing that your policy will be good for artists because it will enable them better exposure and allow others to make derivative works shows that you have neither an understanding of the arts, nor a respect for artists. You treat the arts sector with disdain, dressed up as care in a manner most disingenuous.

Copyright is the law, copyright is what fuels innovation. And best of all, copyright is automatic under Commonwealth law and international treaties and cannot be displaced by Creative Commons.

c_c 11:21 am 19 Sep 12

Can’t believe so many people support this, judging by the poll result so far.

I would have thought taxpayers would more smartly see government support of the arts as a financial investment. In which case the smart thing for tax payers to want is an undertaking from artist who receive funding that they will return a percentage of any commercial return they make on the work to ArtsACT, which in turn can support other artists.

What Creative Commons does is actually damage copyright law, undermine the entire arts sector and the livelihood of artists, and let artists be exploited.

It’s not smart for artists, it’s not smart for taxpayers.

pirate_taco 11:17 am 19 Sep 12

95% in favour of the policy so far, I’m glad so many people share our view 🙂

Creative Commons licensing will give artists the best chance at having their works seen and/or heard, and encourage other local artists to remix and enhance the work.
If we are publicly funding works, don’t we want to have access to it?

Lets make Canberra into a cultural hub.

Glen Takkenberg
Pirate Party ACT

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