From a correspondent:
My name is Marco Scialdone. I’m an italian lawyer involved in copyright issues.
… I think you’ll find interesting the following story. It shows how copyright law can struggle creativity and, above all, how copyright lawyers are unable to understand the potential and the beauty of this new culture enabled by the Net.
Recently, an article published on Artsblog has brought to my attention the Romaeuropa Web Factory Competition. The competition is about four different areas: video-art, electronic music, writing text, development of an advertising spot.
The regulation, at article 8, provides that: “It is not permitted by the participants, any activity of mashup, remix and any other kind of manipulation, in any case, the result of mashup works, remix and any other kind of manipulation cannot in any way participate in the competition.”
The clause above sounds absurd at least for two reasons.
The first, and most obvious, is because the forms of art that are mentioned, in particular video art and electronic music, use techniques such mashup, remix, manipulation and these techniques are, at the same time, their cultural and philosophical substratum and the raw material for their implementation.
The second, however, relates to a presumption of unlawfulness of those forms of art. The regulation does not seem to take into consideration that the video or the work may have been produced assembling or manipulating works whose licenses permit that type of activity and, therefore (i.e. Creative Commons Licences, or at least, many of them), make it perfectly legal (in terms of claims of the authors) the derivative works. Still, the regulation do not take into account that the activity of remix or mash-up could be based on material fallen into the public domain and therefore freely reusable to build on the past and create new forms of art.
For these reasons i decided to join some artists in writing a letter to the foundation asking a change in the regulation.
The object of the letter is “Freedom for Remix”. You can find it here (Italian).
My best regards,