[-empyre-] urgent helpp needed! copyright and NY foundation for the Arts grant App
I am preparing a grant application for the NY Foundation for the Arts which
has Computer Arts as a category this year (and the categories rotate so it
won't reappear for quite a while). It is the first time they are runnning
this category. The deadline is Oct 1, and you submit two works on tow
separate CDs, they award people "at all stages in their career" with $7000
grants of wiich 8-15 are to be awarded.
Anyway, as I review my work, I find that in almost everything there is some
resource which isn't original with me and to which I do not own the
copyright. For example, my Voices of Madness piece has snippets of poetry.
They are only 2 lines or so each, so I think this may be fair use, but then
it may not since usually fair use is just for quoting in a review or
something, sot for reading aloud and putting inn as a sound in a soundtrack.
I can track down the poets and ask for permission, but not before the
deadline, thloygh I could say I was in the process of obtaining permission.
Or I could say nothing. Or I could (bes but not really since the variety of
the voices was part of the effect) repace it all with my own poetry, whihc
fortunately I have written enough of now to do so. But recordimng the poems
and editing the audio was a lengthy process...
In the other piece I was going to submit I have even worse trouble. The
piuece uses songs in an absolutely essentilal fashion. These are gotten off
a Communist web site's list of "old favorites" and may well be in the public
domain, but who knows? Also, I use three images I got by searching the web
with Alta-Vista image search. For example, one is a picture from an add for
a real Christmas tree farm. I can't imagine how to get permission for this
and if I did figure out whom to ask they'd likely say no since the piece is
anti-christmas tree farm...
In these examples I am not sure that I violated the normal standards of how
people do web art, but in terms of the applicatiomn, I am worried. The
panel may come from a traditional art or writing background and see this use
of unorgininal material as plagiarism or stealing. I am not sure what the
standards in web art ARE. I think of our medium as a one which permits
(technically, if not morally or legally) the use of a vast repository of
information, eg the whole web. Yet somehow it seems clear to me that I
cannot steal another web site's TEXT. Why should I feel free to steal its
images? (The argument that an ad for a tree farm is not an artistic web
site doesn't really hold water. The photographer was an artist, paid for
his work, and if I wanted a copy of his photo I'd have to pay him, presuming
he still owns the copyright and not the tree farm...)
So in one way web art allows collages of material from all over the web.
For physical collages, one doesn't have to own the copyright on the items
collaged together, one simply has to own the items. Yet on the web it's
tricky because the items exist in a form where an infinite number of copies
can be made and so the author cannot have been paid for each copy produced
of his work. Also, what about scanning in and using items such as
postcards? For a future paroject, I need to use some postcards. If it were
a gallery installation, I assume I could put postcards in my installation.
Or on a collage. But can I reproduce them on the web? Likewise, I have
some pamphlets devoted to the art of various minor Cape Cod artists and I'd
like to use them scanned in and I wonder if I can...
Please let me know whatever authoritative answers exist as well as immediate
advice (if you have any) for my submission. I hope my post (though I don't
want competition!) lets someone else apply and so justifies its desperate
cry for help...
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