Sunday, February 13, 2005

Copyrighting public space?

This post from the New (Sub)Urbanism blog alarms me. In summary: Chicago parks officials say Millennium Park, on which about $270 million has been spent, is a copyrighted public space, and no pictures can be taken of what is out in the open (artwork in this case) without a permit. It's aimed at stopping commercial reproduction, but that seems to include news work. And where does it end? Could an architect claim copyright on a building as an artwork and thus claim it could not be included in skyline shots of a city? It does not seem that large a stretch of logic to me.

There's been a rather lively discussion on a journalism professors' list recently about such emerging trends and the question, for instance, of whether material on a conference call can be copyrighted. From that came the pointer to this.

With this Chicago case, I fear George Orwell would be proud.

(Photos of the sculpture in question.)


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