I’d like to respond to two interesting recent comments:
"If artists want to work deliberately in the public domain (if they want their works to be copyleft, reused, remade) could they thus only make works which could be argued to be ephemeral or transient in order to avoid anyone claiming IP protection? Or is that just a ludicrous way of looking at it?"
Good question, in the context of which it might be useful to consider that making works is not as problematic (in legal terms) as communicating to the public what has been made. In other words, it’s communication of work to the spectator/audience that attracts the attention of IP laws that give IP rights owners the legal tools – if they choose to use them - to claim financial recompense for unauthorised economic uses of their works (copyright) and/or to correct unauthorised distortions of their originally expressed works (moral rights). And this relates to our artist’s powerful cri de coeur:
"So borrowing, appropriating, re-mixing seem to me like breathing - natural, necessary and invigorating."
Quite so. As Picasso rightly said, “bad artists copy; good artists steal”. It was ever thus in my experience of working with creative artists around the world for decades. But in my view Le Corbusier made a more helpful comment (for our context) – about originality, not about good, bad or indifferent art and artists – when he said “All artists steal; but the truly original repays a thousand fold” (in French, of course).