Nathaniel Stern and Scott Kildall in an almost Legal Dispute With Wikipedia

Thursday, April 30, 2009

In a slightly interesting turn of events Nathaniel Stern gets an apparently threatening letter from Wikipedia (or at least The WikiMedia Foundation) for his (and Scott Kildall) Wikipedia Art site and project.

The IS IT ART Check List:
1. Does it cause controversy/media attention? Tick.
2. Is it uninteresting beyond a minority of people? Tick.
3. Does it hysterically misuse the real world for its own artistic purposes? Tick.

After reading this response from Mike Godwin, it really does appear that the whole thing has gotten out of proportion. I mean, these people aren't suing anyone. They sent a nice letter. And it's very popular to be jumping on the whole copyright/fair use motor wagon these days.
So. Two questions: Does it create any value for the artwork to be heading in this direction? It seems like a ruse to rustle up more attention, for an only half-interesting project.
Is anyone else bored of letting the media control the direction and dissemination of an artwork? It's so 2003.

Correction: It's actually Scott Kildall who would face legal action if this thing got nasty, as he owns the site. Apologies.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

agreed on the half-interesting especially thanks to how the media has framed it part, but that godwin response is bullshit. there's nothing amicable about "gently asking" to hand over a domain name through a lawyer who mentions case law. it was carefully worded is all, not "nice."

12:57 PM  
Anonymous mona said...

when was 2003?

1:06 PM  
Blogger Robert Sloon said...

Fair enough. It isn't exactly nice. But my point was more that it was blown out of proportion. It seems that the minute anyone mentions legal matters it goes straight to the press (which is anybody's right) instead of being settled quietly which a minor trademark disagreement like this would warrant. And everyone starts heaving, and crying and feeling very disappointed in the bad people with power.
Personally, it starts stripping the work of any meaning it might have had, or at least losing the direction of its meaning.

Mona, 2003 was when Ed Young used media hype to create Bruce Gordon. Not the first or most poignant example, but it was what came to mind. Sometimes I even disappoint myself.

2:01 PM  
Blogger nathaniel said...

Who's Bruce Gordon?

1:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember there being an issue on Artheat about Nathaniel Stern attacking Robert Sloon for his use of a pseudonym. It struck me that Nathaniel's understanding of art was so dull I was never able to take him seriously again.
About the most interesting thing he could do with his life is hand it over as an artwork for someone much cleverer to use as a case in point of the dire anorak shit that gets presented as art.

9:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ed Young

1:16 PM  
Anonymous scribbles said...

7:31 PM  

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