The London High Court recently ruled for UK-based Canadian writer and sociologist, Sarah Thornton in a lawsuit over a “spiteful” book review of the non-fiction bestseller Seven Days in the Art World. Thornton was awarded £65,000 (around $101,178 CAD) for libel. The crux of the case fell on false allegations made by Daily Telegraph critic Lynn Barber claiming that she had never been interviewed by Thornton despite being listed as an interviewee in the book. But in fact, she had.
An extra £15,000 in punitive damages were added for malicious conduct. As the judge explained:
A reviewer is entitled to be spiteful, so long as she is honest, but if she is spiteful, the court may more readily conclude that misstatements of fact are not honest, since spite or ill will is a motive for dishonesty.
The Artists’ Legal Outreach (ALO) in association with New Forms Festival 2011 and W2 Community Media Arts is presenting a multidisciplinary series of events aimed at exploring art, cultural expression and consumption, and the idea of the public domain in an attempt to answer the question: what does copyright have to do with artists today? This question is becoming more and more prevalent in our technology-infused world as legal limits are inevitably being confronted by an increasingly blurred line between the creator and the user.
The exhibition runs from September 8-11, 2011 in Vancouver, BC and promises an approach that appropriately conflates art and law. Through the presentation of visual, performance, and musical works, as well as interactive conversations with leading copyright experts, ideas are expected to be challenged.
PBS Arts’ Off Book series dedicates an episode to exploring the current state of visual culture online.
Chris Menning, Viral Trends Researcher, Buzzfeed
MemeFactory, Internet Researchers
Olivia Gulin, Visual Reporter, Know Your Meme
Ryder Ripps, Artist and Co-Creator, Dump.fm
John Kelly, PH.D., Founder and Chief Scientist, Morningside Analytics