Sunday, April 23, 2006

Call for Artists

I'll be jurying our 10th Annual Juried Competition, and now is the time to start preparing as entries are due May 19, 2006.

All the details, entry forms and prospectus are at this website.

More on Google and Miro

Reader Cindy Engquist offers a different point of view in my issue with Google and Miro posted here. Cindy writes:

This is not pettiness at all. This is an intellectual property issue, a marketing issue, and a legal issue.

Google’s "party line" is that they are "honoring" artists by doing interpreted renditions symbolizing the the artists’ work in their Google logo, but the fact of the matter is, Google is using the artists’ concepts and ideas for Google’s own profit. From a marketing standpoint it is very creative, timely, and differentiating that Google does an ever-changing representative logo. It helps to make them distinctive as a search engine and a company. But Google does not have the right to exploit any artist’s work for its own marketing purposes without paying for the right to use the artist’s work, not to mention without even asking permission for temporary rights.

This is a legal as well as an ethical issue.

The team at Google is either: a) creative and exploiting; or b) creative and uniformed about the legal and ethical ramifications of what they are doing. I would hope it’s merely the latter, because some people might be willing to forgive them for being uniformed as long as they make reparations. However, there’s really no excuse for a business of Google’s stature to be uninformed.

The team at Google is not doing this out of goodwill (by so-called "honoring" the artists). Anything like this is always about money.

Best regards,

I responded to Cindy that as far as intellectual property, it was my understanding that for visual arts, an image was protected but not an idea or concept... so no one can copy Dali's melting watches, but anyone can paint a melting watch of their own. Cindy responded that she "believe[s] that there is a rather large gray area between misuse of an image and misuse of an idea or concept. Even if misuse of an idea of an image or concept is not legally enforceable, the damage to the artist and the impact on the artist’s future income can be significant. I am aware of this through my own work, my research and work in the art licensing world, and my work and interactions with artists and graphic designers."