Index: Collective Research
Keywords in library catalogues are never neutral; they designate, classify, and index. An act of interpretation is thus always connected with them. They frame and determine how books and materials are found—and, to a certain extent, also how they are read or interpreted. What socially produced and embedded structures are found in the descriptive metadata of the Art Library? How can traces of the work on descriptors be made visible? How might it be possible to introduce keywords that focus less on demarcating a topic than on how it is possible to work with it, that do not describe what books are, but rather what they do, how we use them, and what they do to us?
Introduction and moderation Lucie Kolb, in cooperation with Philipp Messner, Axelle Stiefel, Eva Weinmayr, Jasna Zwimpfer. […]
Andrea Francke and will be contributing to the session titled “Borrowing” of this reading group at Yale Law School convened by Sara Petrilli-Jones (Yale Law School), Pierre Von-Ow (Yale History of Art), Enrico Camporesi (Centre Pompidou Paris) at Yale Law School – supervised by Professor Amy Kapczynski (Yale University).
This reading group asks how the law of intellectual property – particularly copyright, and primarily in the United States, though with occasional comparative studies – shapes the ways we create, copy, and disseminate images across media, whether in print books and publications or via various digital channels. We consider the ways in which copyright––and important exceptions, like fair use––impact who is able to access and use images, and how they do so.
Our approach to these questions is historically grounded, interdisciplinary, and collaborative:
We will delve into the historical and theoretical foundations of image ‘theft,’ reproduction, and (re)use, in the law as well as other disciplines. We will examine not only how images have been copied, transmitted, and appropriated, but also the changing moral and legal intuitions about such practices over time and across media.
Conventional intellectual property law binds authors and their hybrid contemporary practices in a framework of assumed ownership and individualism. It conceives creations as original works, making collective, networked practices difficult to fit. Within that legal and ideological framework, Copyleft, Open Content Licenses or Free Culture Licensing introduced a different view of authorship, opening up the possibility for a re-imagining of authorship as a collective, feminist, webbed practice. But over time, some of the initial spark and potentiality of Free Culture licensing has been normalised and its problems and omissions have become increasingly apparent. This study day is therefore meant to see if we can start re-imagining copyleft together.
Can we invent licences that are based on collective creative practices, in which cooperation between the machine and biological authors, need not be an exception? How could attribution be a form of situated genealogy, rather than accounting for heritage through listing names of contributing individuals? In what way can we limit predatory practices without blocking the generative potential of Free Culture? What would a decolonial and feminist license look like, and in what way could we propose entangled notions of authorship? Or perhaps we should think of very different strategies?