New copyright judges appointed

LixusElectrons reports that the three judges that will form the US’s first Copyright Royalties Board have been appointed. They are:

*James S. Sledge (Chief Copyright Royalty Judge and a retired Bankruptcy judge)
*Stanley C. Wisniewski (an economics expert)
*William J. Roberts (an expert in copyright law)

The Tribunal was set up under the Copyright Royalty and Distribution Reform Act of 2004 and is responsible for determining and adjusting the rates and terms of the copyright law’s statutory licenses and determining the distribution of royalties from the statutory license royalty pools administered by the Library of Congress.

The IPKat wishes the new judges luck in the pursuance of their duties.

Is artist taking the p***?

The IPKat has learnt via BoingBoing of the work of a French artist, Pierre Pinoncelli, who last Wednesday took a small hammer to Marcel Duchamp’s “Fountain” urinal, which was on display at the Pompidou Centre. M. Pinoncelli is said to have claimed that his actions were themselves a work of art, and a tribute to Duchamp, and others of the Dadaist movement. On a previous occasion he urinated into the urinal while it was on display in Nimmes.

The IPKat in a moment of idle speculation wonders how, if at all, Pinoncelli’s work would be protected by copyright. Has he added to the sculpture to an extent that would be counted as an original artistic work? Or would his work be better classified as a performance? If the latter is true, Merpel suspects that his Nimmes performance wouldn’t be protected on account of it being immoral.

COPYRIGHT ROUND-UP COPYRIGHT ROUND-UP Reviewed by Unknown on Saturday, January 07, 2006 Rating: 5


  1. After his first "personal use" of a Duchamp urinal in Nîmes, Pinoncelli was sued, on the grounds of the article 1382 of the French Civil code ("Any act whatever of man, which causes damage to another, obliges the one by whose fault it occurred, to compensate it"). The Tarascon court of first instance ruled against Pinoncelli (November 20, 1998).
    To the court, the fact of urinating in a urinal gives back to this thing, exhibited as a work of art, its original use, but no one can pretend that a urinal can be used with a hammer (I am not sure my translation is correct - The original excerpt is: "si uriner dans un urinoir peut rendre l'objet exposé comme une oeuvre d'art à son usage premier, nul ne peut prétendre qu'une pissotière s'utilise à coups de marteau").

  2. I'm not sure either, but it sounds so much better in French!

  3. 'No one can *claim*', rather than 'pretend', I offer.



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