Can I create and publish my own subversive word? + More artist rights questions, answers

Have you ever wondered what your rights are as an artist? There’s no specific manual to consult, but we’re here to help. Katarina Feder, Vice President of Artists’ Rights Societyanswers all kinds of questions about the kind of control artists have — and don’t have — over their work.

Do you have a question to ask yourself? E-mail [email protected] and there may be an answer in a future article.

I’m a hacker, artist, and activist who plans to create my own version of Wordle that only lets you guess words associated with Russian/Soviet atrocities (e.g. “Stasi”, “Putin”). could The New York Times sue me?

Well you’re a modern day Rosie the Riveter, is not it ? It should be fine. The names of games and their branding may be covered by trademark, but the games themselves aren’t really covered by copyright or any other form of intellectual property law. These are written to protect the creator, while much of the experience of games rests with the player.

“Games seem to straddle the lines between copyright and patent, between author, performer and reader, and between protected and unprotected material,” writes Bruce Boyden. in his 2011 article “Games and other non-copyrighted systems.” “Games are a means of entertainment on par with copyrighted material such as music, movies or novels. But games are also made up of rules and instructions, like uncopyrighted recipes and patentable procedures.

You can tell that the games are not protected in this way because of their similarity. Othello is a counterfeit of InvertedBridge is a forgery of an earlier card game called Whistand you might remember a popular app from the turn of this century called Words With Friends which was actually just Scrabble. Many have underline that Wordle is itself a version of the TV show”Jargon“, and he has already many imitators. Probably, The New York Times escaped seven digits because they thought their version would be the best, the same way their crosswords are the best, although they don’t own the concept of crosswords.

So, The New York Times didn’t buy Wordle’s concept, he just bought the marketing. A small distinction, but it should keep you away from the courtroom. Just make sure your version doesn’t have those annoying color blocks that everyone posts on Twitter.

The Plantation and the Museum, CATPC and Renzo Martens (2021). Courtesy of the artists and KOW Berlin.

I am fascinated by politics surrounding this NFT made from a Congolese sculpture in the collection of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. I am torn between wanting to support the plantation workers and the museum. Who’s right here?

For those who have just followed, here is the recap: the collective Congolese Plantation Workers Art League (CATPC), which was featured in an excellent 2017 exhibition at the SculptureCenter in Queens, New York, made a NFT in association with the artist Renzo Martens and the German gallery KOW. The digital artwork features an image of a statue of a beheaded Belgian officer during a revolt in the Congo in 1931. The sculpture is currently housed in the collection of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Experts believe the totem was carved to represent the angry spirit of Maximilien Balot. It was purchased in 1972 near Lusanga by a CUNY professor, who donated it to VMFA. The NFT value of 0.1 Ether is enough to buy one hectare of land in Lusanga.

The NFT debuted alongside Martens’ documentary which captures CATPC’s attempts to bring the statue back to the Democratic Republic of Congo on loan, which the museum said it would like to do. In the meantime, the VMFA denounced the NFT, story The Guardian that “the image was removed directly from the museum’s website without permission”, which “violates our open access policy and is unacceptable and unprofessional”. Martens claimed fair use.

Let me say first that unless an artist has assigned their rights, a museum does not own the copyright in the works in their collection. These are owned by the artists for their lifetime, plus another 70 years, after which the work enters the public domain where anyone can use it freely. As I’m having trouble finding the entrance to the statue on the museum’s website (which is understandable), I can’t say for sure who the artist is and when he died. However, since the work depicts an event that took place in 1931, it would be safe to assume that the intellectual property still belongs to the artist or his heirs, who may come forward and claim ownership of the copyright. author.

But if the VMFA had the statue photographed, then it would own that image. I would have advised CATPC to try to find the people who hold the copyrights to the original statue. Intellectual property holders might be able to give them access to images outside of the museum’s collection and might have been financially cut from the project. There are very little NFT case law at this time, so I can’t say who’s right in this CATPC vs VMFA fight, but I know I would have liked to see the maker of this statue, or their heirs, involved in this conversation.


I recently saw on Twitter that Dee Snider from Twisted Sister approved “We’re Not Gonna Take It” for use as the official Ukrainian resistance anthem. I understand it was probably a spiritual gesture, but could someone have sued, if they hadn’t?

I would say having your country invaded is a bit worse than having the cunt of animal house like your fatherbut it is clear that the heart of man is in the right place.

Let’s find out a bit more about the hypothetical and assume that Twisted Sister actually owns all of the rights associated with that song, which isn’t acquired these days. Song catalogs have become attractive targets for investment groups lately, with Neil Diamond being the last to sell his for an undisclosed amount, although you have to assume he was in the nine-figure range, because even prick Do it. But let’s say they own everything and someone attached a speaker to a anti tank trap in kyiv so that Snider’s words – “This is our life, this is our song”, etc. – bring comfort to the empty streets. If Snider had heard of it, and if he hadn’t allowed it, could he have filed a complaint?

No, no, of course not. For one thing, it’s hard to sue someone for anything when the money hasn’t changed hands. Besides, I don’t even know who you would sue, and thinking about it set me down a path that helped me understand why the singer tweeted this in the first place.

You see, “We’re Not Gonna Take It” is one of those songs that is often used in political contexts, as was detailed in the “legacy in politicssection of his Wikipedia entry. Songs like these are often played at rallies for politicians, who don’t realize that songs played in arenas, and even those played in hotel ballrooms, have certain performing rights associated with them. If the artist whose song you’re playing doesn’t like your policy, they can choose to sue you or sue the room. At the very least, you’ll look stupid when he denounces you and everything you stand for, as in the case of Chris Christie and Bruce Springsteen.

In recent memory, “We’re Not Gonna Take It” has been associated with teacher strikes and reproductive rights, and Dee Snider took to Twitter to express his thoughts on these issues, and the extent to which he thinks his song applies to them. . It was a spiritual gesture of support, yes, but it was also the reaction of a man who must have heard interpretations of his use of the word “it” applied to everything from high taxes to a Russian invasion. He just wanted to let us all know where he was personally.

by GIPHY

I started filming my cat on TikTok and it really took off in popularity, so much so that I recently got a message from an ex, who said he came across the account organically. I don’t know who taught him the term “intellectual property” but he said he thinks the cat “owns” the intellectual property of the videos and because he bought the cat with me he has the right to all the money generated by his fame. He’s crazy, right?

Completely crazy.

First, let me congratulate you on your feline success. I’m not on TikTok, but my understanding is that any hit that doesn’t involve lip-syncing is a rare and special thing. It’s to your credit as the filmmaker, because while your cat might be the star, you own these videos, especially when we look at them from an IP perspective.

While they still want to license your content for money, TikTok feels a bit more generous than other social media networks in this regard. Their terms of use same condition that users still “own the copyright” for the material they post to the service, whereas instagram will go so far as to admit that they “do not claim ownership of your content”. But no matter what our tech masters say, it’s rare that someone taking a photo or video doesn’t own the copyright to the resulting content. And it is impossible for an animal to hold a copyright on anything!

Your ex’s claim actually reminds me of another recent case that made a much better case for pet ownership, that of Naruto et al vs. David Slater. Naruto, you see, was a crested macaque who, along with his other monkey friends (et al), stole a camera belonging to British wildlife photographer David Slater in Indonesia. The group then took a series of adorable selfies which Slater later published in a book. He was later sued by PETA for stealing Naruto’s alleged copyrights.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit confirmed that Naruto doesn’t have the legal status to claim copyright here, because he’s an animal, but PETA certainly made a better case than your ex does here, because at least Naruto took the picture. Animals cannot claim copyright in the same way animals have no right to resemblance. Even if they take a better selfie than your ex.

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