For the half-year to 30 June 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze.

Two of our regular Kats are currently on blogging sabbaticals. They are David Brophy and Catherine Lee.

Wednesday, 15 October 2003

RECIPE FOR COPYRIGHT PROBLEMS: TAKE SOME SWEDES AND BUTTER

Ananova reports that a Swedish couple hunting on a remote mountain in Sweden's far northern province of Jaemtland have found 70 pairs of shoes, all filled with butter. The footwear included trainers, high heels, boots and tap shoes, each of which was stuffed with half a kilo of butter. The shoes had been spread out across the landscape. This find is reminiscent of artist Yu Xiuzhen's "Shoes With Butter", an exhibit which was laid out in the Tibetan mountains surrounding Lhasa in 1996. Said a local spokesman: "It's not going to be pretty when the butter starts to rot. And we have to wait for the snow so we can get up there with the snowmobile".

The IPKat observes that once again the issue of conceptual art is raised. Is the notion of arranging butter-filled shoes a sufficiently defined and delineated work of art in its own right to attract copyright protection as an original artistic work? The IPKat thinks not. To the extent that copyright is invoked in protection of conceptual art, it is invoked in order to protect the underlying idea -- which is not the subject-matter of copyright -- and not a specific reification of that idea.

Yu Xiuzhen's "Shoes with Butter" here; Tibetan butter art here
More on art and butter here, here and here
Other types of butter here and here


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