Lawrence Lessig’s impassioned argument for the loosening of copyright controls may have unsettled some of the artists in the audience who have been hanging onto the doctrine of Fair Use like a sinking life raft at sea. But time is short; he estimates we have 5 years to deal with the effects of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act before the right to use found images will be taken away from us by force, ie; hardwired into the equipment. Lessig, the Stanford Law School professor and chair of the Creative Commons project asked us to look beyond our own personal concerns as artists to those of all of the rest of us in our culture who want to create including civilians and young people. He noted that even the public domain is under attack - see his blog posted Aug 29 03 for the story on how you can’t tell Peter Pan your way. The SFMOMA panel discussion last night, CopyArt: The Impact of Copyright on New Media Art, was moderated by Linda Jacobson, chief officer of Glass House Studio, and included the brilliant Jennifer Gonzalez, assistant professor of art history, University of California, Santa Cruz, and Christian Marclay who showed clips of his wonderful digital media projects, for which he admitted he has no clearance.

- Cheryl Meeker [Friday, October 3rd, 2003]


From the editors