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<nettime> Coalition of Canadian Art Professionals Releases Open Letter o
Felix Stalder on Thu, 8 Jun 2006 10:41:19 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> Coalition of Canadian Art Professionals Releases Open Letter on Copyright


[The voices of artists against the expansion of copyrights are getting
stronger. Stuff like that will make it harder for the industry to
claim to represent the interests of creators. Very good. Felix]


Media Release:

Coalition of Canadian Art Professionals Releases Open Letter on
Copyright

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

http://www.appropriationart.ca/

Over 500 Art Professionals Call for Balanced Copyright Laws

Ottawa, ON -- June 6, 2006 -- Over 500 members of Canada's art
community have today released an open letter to the Ministers of
Canadian Heritage and Industry calling on the Canadian government to
adopt balanced copyright laws that respect the reality of contemporary
art practice. Appropriation Art, A Coalition of Art Professionals,
comprises artists, curators, arts organizations and art institutions
who share a deep concern over Canada's copyright policies and the
impact these policies have on the creation and dissemination of
contemporary art. The Coalition argues that Canada's current copyright
laws put at particular risk those artworks using appropriation, such
as conceptual art, art video & film, sound art and collage.

The Coalition offers three principles that it argues must ground
Canada's copyright policy:

FAIR ACCESS TO COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL LIES AT THE HEART OF COPYRIGHT.
Creators need access to the works of others to create. Legislative
changes premised on the "need" to give copyright owners more control
over their works must be rejected.

ARTISTS AND OTHER CREATORS REQUIRE CERTAINTY OF ACCESS. The time has
come for the Canadian government to consider replacing fair dealing
with a broader defense, such as fair use, that will offer artists the
certainty they require to create.

ANTI-CIRCUMVENTION LAWS SHOULD NOT OUTLAW CREATIVE ACCESS. Laws that
privilege technical measures that protect access to digital works must
be rejected. The law should not outlaw otherwise legal dealings with
copyrighted works merely because a digital lock has been used. Artists
work with a contemporary palette, using new technology. They work from
within popular culture, using material from movies and popular music.
Contemporary culture should not be immune to critical commentary.

"Artworks that use appropriation have a long and well documented place
in the history of art" notes Sarah Joyce, a signatory to the Open
Letter. "These works are collected and exhibited in major cultural
institutions across Canada and throughout the world and yet artists
express this form of creativity under threat of the law. To silence
this valid form of creativity is tragic. That Canada's laws do so is
simply wrong."

"Canada's art community has not been consulted on the implications
of possible copyright reforms," states Gordon Duggan, another of the
Open Letter's signatories. "We are creators, and we rely on copyright
laws for our livelihood. Yet, to my knowledge, the needs of Canadian
artists have never been a consideration in copyright policy debates.
It is time that changed. The sheer size and makeup of this coalition
relects the level of dissatisfaction within the art community. These
changes are set to lock Canadian art into a very narrow idea of what
the Government wants art to be rather than reflecting the reality of
contemporary Canadian art."

The open letter has been posted at the Coalition's website at
www.appropriationart.ca.

About The Coalition of Art Professionals: The signatories to the Open
Letter span the full range of Canada's art community, and include
artists, galleries, art institutions, and curators. A full list of the
over 500 individuals and organizations lending their name to the Open
Letter may be found at www.appropriationart.ca.

For further information, contact:

Sarah Joyce or Gordon Duggan
common.r {AT} mac.com








----http://felix.openflows.org------------------------------ out now:
*|Manuel Castells and the Theory of the Network Society. Polity, 2006 
*|Open Cultures and the Nature of Networks. Ed. Futura/Revolver, 2005 


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