The Bravo cable network has announced it's looking for people who fit the description of an "emerging or mid-career artist with a unique, powerful voice that demands a bigger stage" (which I, in my somewhat jaded view, read as "young, physically attractive, and with an overblown ego that makes you prone to being a jerk around other people"). The purpose of the search is to cast a new so-called reality show that will pit visual artists against each other in a battle over who can best perform a series of art-related assignments. (Just between you and me, I'm laying odds that at least one of the assignments will involve nudity. Anybody got a different opinion?)
If you go to the Bravo web site, you can read all about it, and you can download the application form, which, in addition to asking highly relevant questions such as "Have you a girlfriend?" or "a boyfriend?"?is this a sneaky way for the producers to determine who's gay??the form also has eight pages of legal release language. A cursory glance at the language indicates that it's your basic release about the use of "likenesses" and such. What wasn't completely clear (and I admit I haven't studied it in detail) is whether any art created as part of the show would be the property of the artist or the producers. Television, after all, is the sort of thing that very often makes all contributions a work made for hire, which means the employer owns it, including any copyright.
Just something for an emerging or mid-career artist with a unique, powerful voice that demands a bigger stage to keep in mind if chosen to be on the show.
Just in case you were wondering what kind of sentence you could get for providing the getaway car in a fine art heist, a Norwegian court handed down a two-and-a-half year sentence to the man whom the prosecutors in the case said helped procure the car used in the 2004 robbery of Edvard Munch's classic paintings, "The Scream" and "Madonna," from an Oslo museum.
The paintings were recovered two years after they were swiped in broad daylight. However, they required some restoration upon their return. According to the Associated Press, the court ruled that the getaway car guy didn't have to kick in for the cost of that restoration.
As America's birthday rolls around, I'm inclined to ponder: could Thomas Jefferson have copyrighted the Declaration of Independence?
Well, first of all, since the Constitution wasn't ratified for more than a decade later, there was no Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8 granting Congress the power to enact copyrights. But I'm guessing there was something that addressed such at the time—perhaps English law. Hey, while he was writing it, he was still technically living in a part of England. Frankly, I haven't researched it. (Perhaps a task for another day.)
However, here's something a lot of people don't know about works created by the U.S. federal government today. By law, they cannot be copyrighted. So, if a federal employee takes photos, writes a book, or does any other creative pursuit for the government, assuming that work is within the scope of his employment to the federal government, that creative work belongs to the feds, but the copyright doesn't. It's immediately placed in the public domain.
That applies just to the feds, not the states. States can own the copyright on a work created by their employees.
Just a little tidbit of knowledge you can now use to impress your friends while you fire up the barbecue grill this weekend.
Just in case the round-the-clock coverage of the death of phenomenally famous?albeit disturbingly bizarre?Michael Jackson hasn't quite satiated your appetite for news about the King of Pop, a new tidbit has arisen. I'm talking about Jackson's will?something family members had denied existed.
Well, if it's validated as an authentic last will and testament of Michael Jackson, then the very least I can say is that he did the smart thing by having one.
A lot of artists don't give much thought to wills. A lot of artists don't make much money from their art, and so they suppose a will or a living trust would just be more bother and expense that it's worth. But what they forget is that their art is something of value that can be bequeathed to heirs. After all, intellectual property is property.
If you've created art, you have something you can leave behind to those you love. Make sure you don't forget to include it in your will.
Perhaps China just doesn't get the web. The government of the world's most populous nation seems to spend a lot of time trying to reign in the chaos that is the Internet. Now it appears to have blocked the web site of Google, arguably the world's most popular search engine. The reason given?...Google allows access to pornography.
Okay, I understand the desire to protect children from images they're not ready to fully comprehend and understand. But every one of these types of "For the love of God, won't someone think of the children!" efforts to guard the tykes from accidentally bumping into wee-wees on the web ends up also blocking fine art that also happens to contain wee-wees or (perhaps even more dangerous) words that are potentially applicable to pornographic uses. Here, of course, that raises First Amendment issues. In China, where they've got no Bill of Rights to lean on, the bigger issue with this sort of thing tends to be economic. (Whose commercial enterprise is being stymied by the blockage.)
Now I don't want to seem critical of a nation that wants to protect its children from pornography. But, from what I've noted in the past, China's idea of pornography tends to be a lot more inclusive than many other places. A Chinese woman I once knew told me that the Chinese are a very conservative people when it comes to sex. My response was that I have a billion reasons why I can't say I fully believe that.