Trash intellectual property law?

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Doug
Trash intellectual property law?

It's a radical idea but the implications are worth thinking about. It could well stimulate innovation rather than prevent it. Certainly it's well past time to reconsider the lengths of copyright and patent. What author really needs their creation protected 70 years after their death? A long patent might make some sense for inventions that require a lot of investment before they can be sold, like drugs, but does it really make so much sense for those that will be obsolete long before a decade is up?

http://rajivsethi.blogspot.com/2010/02/on-intellectual-property-and-guard.html

Issues Pages: 
p-sto

I'm torn on the idea of intellectual property rights.  On the one hand I can see how they can be used to unfairly leverage money from the public.  On the other hand I kinda hate the idea that a great innovator may lose out because some one else can market their idea better.  How about a dollar limit instead of a time limit on intellectual property.  The patent is yours for the first $500 thousand then it's out in the public domain.

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation and author of the GNU General Public License...the most widely used "copyleft" free software license argues that we should reject the term "intellectual property" completely.

Did You Say Intellectual Property?  It's a Seductive Mirage

He argues that corporations and the mainstream media have used this term "intellectual property" to merge together patents, trademarks and copyright under this so-called umbrella term when in reality all three of them evolved differently and were used for different purposes.

Patents were "limited" monopolies granted by a government that applied to new inventions.  It was something you had to apply for and have approved.   Trademarks originated just so that you would know that whatever item you bought was the "real thing".   Copyright applies to a "work" like written material, art, music etc.  You don't have to apply to a government for a copyright.   If you create an original work, it's automatically copyrighted.

But corporations have been lobbying to get governments to expand corporate rights so that aspects of say patent law, also apply to copyright law and vice versa etc.   They use the "catch all" term "intellectual property as if it was something that is real...when it is not.   It's a total bullshit corporate invented term and no one should ever be allowed to use this term without being challenged IMHO.

As for abolishing copyrights, trademarks and patents...that's another debate I suppose.   Certainly the trend has been for governments to give the corporations more rights (and ordinary folks less).  

 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

What about ordinary folks who are also incorporated?

Like me, for instance. 

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

I suppose Timebandit you're not wilfully abusing and it would likely have no effect on you.  Think big picture.

Snert Snert's picture

I'm not a musician, artist, writer, software engineer or inventor, so I suppose it wouldn't really destroy *my* livelihood or anything, so let's just do this!  It'll mean free stuff for me, right??

hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture

radiorahim wrote:

But corporations have been lobbying to get governments to expand corporate rights so that aspects of say patent law, also apply to copyright law and vice versa etc.   They use the "catch all" term "intellectual property as if it was something that is real...when it is not.   It's a total bullshit corporate invented term and no one should ever be allowed to use this term without being challenged IMHO.

I used to practice intellectual property law, and it encompasses more than the big three. There are also industrial designs and trade secrets, for example. There is need for a catch-all term so that we can communicate. I've never heard that "intellectual property" is a corporate-invented term as you suggest, and the various forms are quite distinct in law and in practice. The article you cite doesn't support your statement about the origins of the term:

Quote:
According to Professor Mark Lemley, now of the Stanford Law School, the widespread use of the term “intellectual property” is a fashion that followed the 1967 founding of the World “Intellectual Property” Organization (WIPO), and only became really common in recent years.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

RevolutionPlease wrote:

I suppose Timebandit you're not wilfully abusing and it would likely have no effect on you.  Think big picture.

I'm curious as to what "willful abuse" is, exactly.  Can you elaborate?

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Micro$oft.

kropotkin1951

I saw this documentary and it certainly gave me some new things to think about.

Like why is it Disney could steal traditional stories from every culture and then claim they own them.  I always admired Utah Phillips for his fight against the theft of Traditional music by people like Roy Rogers.  He was sued numerous times and his defence was always how could the supposed "owner" of the song have written it when it was taught to someone else decades prior to an entrepreneur claiming the folk tradition as their own intellectual property.

 

http://films.nfb.ca/rip-a-remix-manifesto/

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Disney repurposed traditional stories.  You can still write your own version or retelling of the Cinderella or little mermaid or Princess and the Frog story and it will belong to you without any challenge from Disney.  You can even make your own movie version.  You can't, though, riff on their specific version of the Little Mermaid (itself a riff on Anderson's retelling of a traditional story).

With music it revolves around arrangement and performance of works - for example, there may not be a copyright on a particular classical musician's work or a piece of traditional music, but a recording of it belongs to the artist.  Or if it is a copyrighted piece of music, the song itself is licensed for a fee, and the performance of it then belongs to someone else.  If, however, you don't license or credit, you are in shit, and so you should be.

kropotkin1951

Tell that fairy tale to Disney lawyers with their law suits. Sure you have the right if you can afford to fight legal battles with the giants and their high priced legal talent.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

You haven't seen alternate versions of those fairy tales on video?  I have.  Mulan as well.  Books, too.  They don't sue everyone who puts out a new version of Cinderella or The Little Mermaid or Snow White.  Please show us where they do. 

What Disney does do is work to extend the period of exploitation for their versions, and again, you can't go riffing on their specific versions without consequence.  If you do, you probably haven't done your due dilligence and you'll get smacked for it - not just by Disney, btw.

kropotkin1951

Yup Disney and other American "entertainment" corporations smack artists, I would agree with that.

They sue many people take your pick.

http://www.google.ca/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=disney+sues&ie=UTF-8&...

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Some of the suits are pretty reactionary, and others are completely reasonable.  I'd like to note, though, none of them revolve around alternate versions of Cinderella, Snow White or other traditional tales - which was the point I was actually disputing.  If you want to show where Disney sues people for making their own versions of traditional tales in motion picture or print, I'd like to see it.

kropotkin1951

Timebandit wrote:

I'd like to note, though, none of them revolve around alternate versions of Cinderella, Snow White or other traditional tales - 

Wow you looked through about 323,000 links in that short a time I am truly impressed and in awe.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Did you?

Narrow it down, and I'll look again.  I'm not going past the first 5 pages.

Snert Snert's picture

I think the problem is that nobody really wants to do a boring old remake of a boring old classic like Cinderella.  If someone wants to use the Cinderella image, they want to use the one that already has a high recognition factor: Disney's. 

I think Timebandit is correct to say that Disney doesn't own the classics, and that I'm free to remake the classics, but the classics in and of themselves don't really have a whole lot of appeal to folks.... unless Disney does them. 

To some degree, same with music.  I might want to use, say, Simon and Garfunkel's "Scarborough Fair" in a television ad.  Well, it's an old, old song, and I'm certainly free to sing it myself, but that would be kind of missing the point.  If I want that song in my ad, I probably want THEIR performance of it, not my own.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Actually, kids books often feature such "remakes" of traditional tales, and it's not uncommon in the direct-to-video children's market, either.  Trust me, I've sat through many of these.

Anyway.  Why shouldn't you pay to use someone else's version of a song or video or whatever?  Why should the recognition that the people who made the version you want to use built up be yours for the taking? 

You can license different types of use, you know.  If I use stock footage in a film, I pay and credit the maker.  Fair enough.  I don't expect freebies, and if I decide to give a freebie, then it's my decision. 

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
Why shouldn't you pay to use someone else's version of a song or video or whatever? 

 

I can't tell if you're asking, or asking rhetorically, but at any rate, I agree. Why should someone else's labour be free to me? How did they get tagged with the responsibility to write hit songs or produce fascinating documentaries or write bestsellers for me, for free? I'm asking rhetorically, though I've heard some real knee-slapping answers like "well, we all create the culture in which these works are situated" or "we provide an audience, and without an audience, that book/movie/song would be meaningless!". Srsly.

kropotkin1951

I have no problem paying artists for their work but what does that have to do with the Disney Corp and their 95 year rights.  The new laws are to protect American entertainment corporations after they have acquired artists right they are not being championed to protect artists. 

Snert Snert's picture

Rights to many things can be sold or exchanged.

If I'm a visual artist, I can sell my painting to someone and then it's theirs.  Why shouldn't I be able to sell a film to someone, or a book to someone?  I should think that part of protecting an artist's interest in their own work would be permitting them to sell it if that's what they wish to do with it.  And I'm not sure I see how it really matters who owns the copyright to a work.

That said, current laws could certainly take another look at how long those rights can stay exclusive.  I might suggest, for example, the lifetime of the artist, or, if sold, another 20 years at most.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Interesting side point re: visual artists - Buying a work means that you own the physical piece, but does not necessarily mean you  buy all rights.  The artist often retains reproduction rights, for example, where they retain the right to give permission and receive remuneration for the depiction of the work in publications, posters, etc.

And yes, Snert, I was largely being rhetorical, although sometimes the question elicits some interesting responses.

I'm not necessarily against some changes to intellectual property law, but when people start talking about "trashing" them, they generally aren't seeing the full implications of what that means to working artists, inventors and the like.  The same protections that the big corps use also apply to smaller corporations and individuals and retaining those protections are, IMO, non-negotiable.

kropotkin1951

So Timebandit do you agree with the extension of the time periods for various types of intellectual property.  

What is at stake is not the artists rights but rights of holding companies.  If the artist is dead does society need to extend the rights for more than 50 years after they die?  How about the Disney 95 year deal.  What is the purpose of those timeframes?  It seems to me they have nothing to do with protecting artists.  But then intellectual law is not my forte.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Do I agree with the rights period extensions?  It depends.

Obviously, the purpose of the extensions are to monetize still-marketable works (ie: Mickey Mouse).  That's a no-brainer.  There's also the issue of control over when and how the works and the elements of those works are used.  You seem to be bothered by the idea that a company will retain control of the property rather than an individual.

The point that can be made here, though, is that the corporation that I own could also be described as a "holding company" in this context.  I sign my rights to the property over to the corporation.  As long as I own the corporation, the property remains in my control.  If someone buys me out, the rights to that property remain with the corporation - but then, they would have been assigned a value and I would have been paid for them.  Personally, I don't see anything wrong with that.  If it's my property and it has value enough that someone is willing to pay for it, why not?

Can you elaborate on at exactly what point the ownership of intellectual property becomes an issue for you?

kropotkin1951

Yup after the death of the artist.  I can see some residual years of rights going to other entities but 50 years for a song that someone else wrote is not enough?  

The fact that as an artist you have to cloak yourself in the veil of a corporation is in my mind proof positive that corporations have more rights than individual artists or you wouldn't bother spending the incorporation fees.

HeywoodFloyd

They just have rights that exist independent of the individual.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Yup after the death of the artist.  I can see some residual years of rights going to other entities but 50 years for a song that someone else wrote is not enough?  

The fact that as an artist you have to cloak yourself in the veil of a corporation is in my mind proof positive that corporations have more rights than individual artists or you wouldn't bother spending the incorporation fees.

That's an exceptionally simplistic view.  There are many reasons why it makes sense to produce work through a corporation independent of intellectual property issues, but that's off topic and I'm not going to get into cultural industries 101 here.  I also don't see working via a corporation as "cloaking myself in a veil" - it's very clear and apparent who the owners, directors and officers of my corporation are.  A matter of public record, in fact.

If I come up with an idea or concept that has a value that can be marketed beyond my life span, why shouldn't I be able to sell that for an agreed-upon term that benefits me here and now?  Why should all and sundry get a freebie if I get hit by a bus tomorrow?  I'm okay with my kids continuing to benefit from my work after I'm gone, and I'd appreciate it if they were good stewards of what I've created so that it isn't misused in the future. 

Sven Sven's picture

p-sto wrote:

How about a dollar limit instead of a time limit on intellectual property.  The patent is yours for the first $500 thousand then it's out in the public domain.

For "the first $500 thousand"...what?  Sales of the patented product?

Sven Sven's picture

Timebandit wrote:

RevolutionPlease wrote:

I suppose Timebandit you're not wilfully abusing and it would likely have no effect on you.  Think big picture.

I'm curious as to what "willful abuse" is, exactly.  Can you elaborate?

My guess is that it's "willful abuse" if any money is made off of it.

[IMG]http://i34.tinypic.com/11raq06.gif[/IMG]

kropotkin1951

Sorry Timebandi for being so simplistic.  Oh that corporate veil thing I sure wish it was a figment of my imagination instead of the driving principle behind our fucked economic system.

 

Quote:

corporate veil
  

s

Definition

Legal concept that separates the personality of a corporation from the personalities of its stockholders (shareholders), and protects them from being personally liable for the firm's debts and other obligations. This protection, however, is not ironclad or impenetrable. Where a court determines that a firm's business was not conducted in accordance with the provisions of corporate-legislation (or that it was just a façade for illegal activities) it may hold the stockholders personally liable for the firm's obligations under the legal concept of 'lifting (or piercing) the corporate veil.'

 

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Sven wrote:

Timebandit wrote:

RevolutionPlease wrote:

I suppose Timebandit you're not wilfully abusing and it would likely have no effect on you.  Think big picture.

I'm curious as to what "willful abuse" is, exactly.  Can you elaborate?

My guess is that it's "willful abuse" if any money is made off of it.

[IMG]http://i34.tinypic.com/11raq06.gif[/IMG]

 

Yeah, my subsequent example sure shows your ability at reading comprehension.

 

Keep fishin...

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

hsfreethinkers wrote:

radiorahim wrote:

But corporations have been lobbying to get governments to expand corporate rights so that aspects of say patent law, also apply to copyright law and vice versa etc.   They use the "catch all" term "intellectual property as if it was something that is real...when it is not.   It's a total bullshit corporate invented term and no one should ever be allowed to use this term without being challenged IMHO.

I used to practice intellectual property law, and it encompasses more than the big three. There are also industrial designs and trade secrets, for example. There is need for a catch-all term so that we can communicate. I've never heard that "intellectual property" is a corporate-invented term as you suggest, and the various forms are quite distinct in law and in practice. The article you cite doesn't support your statement about the origins of the term:

Quote:
According to Professor Mark Lemley, now of the Stanford Law School, the widespread use of the term “intellectual property” is a fashion that followed the 1967 founding of the World “Intellectual Property” Organization (WIPO), and only became really common in recent years.

Yes it's quite true that more things are being "thrown into the bag" of so-called "intellectual property"...that's why its a dangerous term.     The political purpose of using this term is to confuse people and extend corporate rights in the process.

If you want to talk about copyright that's fine.   If you want to talk about patents, that's fine too.   But don't lump them all into this corporate "catch all" phrase of "intellectual property".

Sure WIPO was created in '67, but it's the corporate idealogues who've promoted the use of this term.   Progressive folks should reject the use of the term entirely IMHO.

 

 

hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture

radiorahim wrote:

hsfreethinkers wrote:

radiorahim wrote:

But corporations have been lobbying to get governments to expand corporate rights so that aspects of say patent law, also apply to copyright law and vice versa etc.   They use the "catch all" term "intellectual property as if it was something that is real...when it is not.   It's a total bullshit corporate invented term and no one should ever be allowed to use this term without being challenged IMHO.

I used to practice intellectual property law, and it encompasses more than the big three. There are also industrial designs and trade secrets, for example. There is need for a catch-all term so that we can communicate. I've never heard that "intellectual property" is a corporate-invented term as you suggest, and the various forms are quite distinct in law and in practice. The article you cite doesn't support your statement about the origins of the term:

Quote:
According to Professor Mark Lemley, now of the Stanford Law School, the widespread use of the term “intellectual property” is a fashion that followed the 1967 founding of the World “Intellectual Property” Organization (WIPO), and only became really common in recent years.

Yes it's quite true that more things are being "thrown into the bag" of so-called "intellectual property"...that's why its a dangerous term.     The political purpose of using this term is to confuse people and extend corporate rights in the process.

If you want to talk about copyright that's fine.   If you want to talk about patents, that's fine too.   But don't lump them all into this corporate "catch all" phrase of "intellectual property".

Sure WIPO was created in '67, but it's the corporate idealogues who've promoted the use of this term.   Progressive folks should reject the use of the term entirely IMHO.

 

I don't know - I see no evidence of that. The article is fine as far as stressing that the various types of intellectual property are distinct and serve different purposes. The idea that there is some conspiracy to use an umbrulla term "intellectual property", or that progressives should reject the term, well I call bullshit on that.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Sorry Timebandi for being so simplistic.  Oh that corporate veil thing I sure wish it was a figment of my imagination instead of the driving principle behind our fucked economic system.

 

Quote:

 

corporate veil
  

s

Definition

Legal concept that separates the personality of a corporation from the personalities of its stockholders (shareholders), and protects them from being personally liable for the firm's debts and other obligations. This protection, however, is not ironclad or impenetrable. Where a court determines that a firm's business was not conducted in accordance with the provisions of corporate-legislation (or that it was just a façade for illegal activities) it may hold the stockholders personally liable for the firm's obligations under the legal concept of 'lifting (or piercing) the corporate veil.'

 

It wasn't "corporate veil" I objected to, it was the characterization that I was hiding. 

The fact is, it's easier to produce film and video work through a corporation.  Contracting employees, getting gap financing, equity partnerships, etc and so forth, are difficult if not impossible as an individual.  Then there's the taxes and tax credits...  It gets complex. 

My point was that running projects through a corporate entity is not all about the intellectual property rights of a project, and to assume that this is even largely the case - which your post seemed to imply - is a simplistic view.

kropotkin1951

Timebandit in the post (#27) you claim others are to simplistic to discuss the law of intellectual property you proved you didn't even understand the most basic concept underlying a corporation.  But hey who am I compared to your brilliant understanding of everything. I love the way you don't ever admit your own limitations in knowledge but immediately go on the attack.  Anyone who doesn't know what the corporate veil is should not be calling anyone simplistic.  

In #34 you agree it is better to use a corporation which was my point that you originally said was over simplistic.  Go back read some stuff about corporations or maybe watch the movie "the Corporation"  so you can gain a more sophisticated understanding of the laws you are using to your advantage. The laws that give corporations more rights than individuals.

To reiterate my point from above; you cloak yourself in the corporate veil because it provides superior legal entitlements when compared to an individual artists rights.  We actually agree on this point but somehow you feel a need to attack me because I disagree that the corporate model is good for society.  Hey it is good for those who own them but that is different than it is good for society. 

http://www.thecorporation.com/index.cfm

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

First, I haven't attacked anyone, although I have disagreed with you.  I am allowed to do that.  You need to chill out and stop taking message boards so personally. 

Secondly, I own a parent company and four sub-companies, all of them incorporated.  I don't claim to know all, but I think, after over a decade of working with a corporate entity within my cultural industry, I have a decent working knowledge of both the industry and how a corporation works.

I've also reviewed The Corporation and was presenter for a regional broadcast of the same.  While they do make some good points, I don't agree with your black-and-white analysis that corporations in and of themselves as a structure, as opposed to individual corporations that have bent or broken the rules (please note the distinction!), are all good or all bad.  Nor do I think The Corporation is as entirely black-and-white in its analysis, IIRC. It is possible to run a corporation in an ethical manner, and I recall that there was at least one example of this in the documentary.

What I described as simplistic was your suggestion/implication that using a corporation was largely an intellectual property issue. 

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

hsfreethinkers wrote:

 

I don't know - I see no evidence of that. The article is fine as far as stressing that the various types of intellectual property are distinct and serve different purposes. The idea that there is some conspiracy to use an umbrulla term "intellectual property", or that progressives should reject the term, well I call bullshit on that.

 

If you want to divorce legal terminology or any other terminology for that matter from the political/economic/social climate that it exists in, then go ahead.

But in the business press...particularly the technology press, these days they almost never talk about the separate issues of copyright, patents and trademarks etc.  They almost always use the term "intellectual property" or "IP" for short.

This isn't a "conspiracy", it's just the way the corporate world works.   Corporations seek to expand their power in our society and one of the ways of  doing that is to change the way people think about things...and therefore we get terms like "intellectual property".

And to try to dismiss anyone who critiques how institutions tend to work as a "conspiracy theorist" is bullshit IMHO.

 

 

Snert Snert's picture

Everyone knows that their favourite message board incorporated in 2005, yes?  Is that a problem? 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

There were two excellent articles published in a 2007 issue of Harper's that address the problem of fair-use and intellectual property. The first one, entitled "On the rights of Molotov Man: Appropriation and the art of context" (PDF alert), deals with Susan Meiselas's famous photo of Nicaraguan Sandinista Pablo Arauz, who is throwing a Molotov cocktail made out of a very visible Pepsi bottle, and artist/writer Joy Garnett's various reimaginings of the iconic photo. Graffiti artist Banksy probably has the most famous recent reappropriation of, or at least reference to, the image. The question, of course, is what consitutes "original" art, and what debt, if any, does an artist owe previous incarnations of an image, melody, narrative or character.

Jonathan Lethem (author of Fortress of Solitude) addresses the question in the same issue with the brilliant "Ecstasy of Influence: A Plagiarism," a pun on Harold Bloom's famous book, The Anxiety of Influence, in which he argues that every artist experiences anguish and nerves in their creative relationship to all artists that came before. There is an incessant anxiety to produce an original work, which is by definition impossible. Lethem's essay is composed completely of quotes, misquotes and paraphrases of other writers, challenging the idea that plagiarism as such is bad thing.

Quote:
LOVE AND THEFT

Consider this tale: a cultivated man of middle age looks back on the story of an amour fou, one beginning when, traveling abroad, he takes a room as a lodger. The moment he sees the daughter of the house, he is lost. She is a preteen, whose charms instantly enslave him. Heedless of her age, he becomes intimate with her. In the end she dies, and the narrator—marked by her forever—remains alone. The name of the girl supplies the title of the story: Lolita.

The author of the story I've described, Heinz von Lichberg, published his tale of Lolita in 1916, forty years before Vladimir Nabokov's novel. Lichberg later became a prominent journalist in the Nazi era, and his youthful works faded from view. Did Nabokov, who remained in Berlin until 1937, adopt Lichberg's tale consciously? Or did the earlier tale exist for Nabokov as a hidden, unacknowledged memory? The history of literature is not without examples of this phenomenon, called cryptomnesia. Another hypothesis is that Nabokov, knowing Lichberg's tale perfectly well, had set himself to that art of quotation that Thomas Mann, himself a master of it, called “higher cribbing.” Literature has always been a crucible in which familiar themes are continually recast. Little of what we admire in Nabokov's Lolita is to be found in its predecessor; the former is in no way deducible from the latter. Still: did Nabokov consciously borrow and quote?

“When you live outside the law, you have to eliminate dishonesty.” The line comes from Don Siegel's 1958 film noir, The Lineup, written by Stirling Silliphant. The film still haunts revival houses, likely thanks to Eli Wallach's blazing portrayal of a sociopathic hit man and to Siegel's long, sturdy auteurist career. Yet what were those words worth—to Siegel, or Silliphant, or their audience—in 1958? And again: what was the line worth when Bob Dylan heard it (presumably in some Greenwich Village repertory cinema), cleaned it up a little, and inserted it into “Absolutely Sweet Marie”? What are they worth now, to the culture at large?

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

Catchfire wrote:

There were two excellent articles published in a 2007 issue of Harper's that address the problem of fair-use and intellectual property. The first one, entitled "On the rights of Molotov Man: Appropriation and the art of context" (PDF alert), deals with Susan Meiselas's famous photo of Nicaraguan Sandinista Pablo Arauz, who is throwing a Molotov cocktail made out of a very visible Pepsi bottle, and artist/writer Joy Garnett's various reimaginings of the iconic photo. Graffiti artist Banksy probably has the most famous recent reappropriation of, or at least reference to, the image. The question, of course, is what consitutes "original" art, and what debt, if any, does an artist owe previous incarnations of an image, melody, narrative or character.

See what I mean?   There's a corporatization of the language taking place.   The issue in question is about copyright...and maybe just maybe ... about a trademark in the case of the Pepsi logo.

But "copyright" is not the term that gets used...instead this term "intellectual property" gets used.

I'm not picking on you in particular Catchfire...but picking on the term.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

While I agree with you in general about the corporatization of language (although I might call it the reification of art), that is not what is going on in the articles cited. Meiselas is not concerned with money, and certainly not with reusing Pepsi's corporate logo--her chief concern is that the historical context of the Molotov photo is lost--a valid critique, especially as you look at the image's progression through Garnett's work and finally in Banksy's piece which is barely a shadow of the original image. Meiselas is worried that the real social situation of Pablo Arauz and his real, political struggle is stripped from the subsequent re-uses, and therefore subsequent artists commit a grave disservice, even crime, to the "original" piece. It could be argued that the reimaginings of the photo are themselves "corportizations" or commodifications of art, in that all that is present is the image, stripped of social meaning and history.

Garnett counters by asking what is truly "original"--the photo? The event the photo documents? Previous revolutionary acts which inform the Sandinista revolution? Pepsi Co. itself? Lethem takes this line further by demonstrating that all art is dialogic--it is invested in its history and its present historical moment. I tend to agree with the latter, but Meiselas, like Timebandit in this thread, is certainly no apologist for corporatization. It can safely be said that both are fighting it in their own way, fighting what they perceive as the greatest threat to their art.