Friday, March 11, 2011

Artworks as wallpaper

I've never really taken it too seriously before but ABC Perth and/or the politicians being interviewed seem to have a tendency to position themselves using artworks as backgrounds. These are often not shown as part of a bigger scene but almost exclusively alone on a simply coloured wall. This is - for want of a better word - dodgy and most come close to a copyright infringement. The works are being 'reproduced' outside the conditions likely in place to protect the artist.

The easiest analogy would be music. Imagine a scene but with some music playing faintly in the background as ambient noise from the not so immediate surrounds. Obviously it would be much different - and unambiguous - if a stereo speaker was positioned immediately out of shot and designed to provide 'background' to the interview. The later would trigger royalty provisions.

The artworks used in these interviews have nothing to do with the substance of the articles so the usual 'news' arguments shouldn't apply. Given the isolation of the works, you could also argue that it's not exactly an ambient scene. An interview in front of a more complex scene, ie. Lamps, bookcase, desk, etc that just happens to have an artwork in the background would pass this test but surely not a head and shoulders shot with the artwork dominating the frame?

Ironically enough it might be a copyright infringement to post screen dumps of the articles in question but as they are put here the course of critical debate and/or arts news I can only assume the same conditions apply that do to news organizations themselves.

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