There is no shortage of controversial art. Entire cities have made the news for refusing to install or hang a particular piece of. But such controversies don’t stop at the intersection of Real World and Cyberspace, they only become exacerbated owing to the “anywhere, everywhere” nature of the Net.
Just how far does free speech extend into cyberspace (short answer: to infinity… and beyond!) and why does there seem to be a huge gap between what’s possible (under the law) and what is demanded by self-deputized “moral censors”?
Well, today the Center for Democracy & Technology took the wraps off a new website called OnlineArtRights, which was created out of funding from the Andy Warhol foundation. CDT blogged about the launch, saying:
[The site] provides information and resources covering the wide range of free speech issues – and First Amendment protections – artists may encounter when they post their work on the web.
The site is divided into three categories that are designed to respond to different questions. The Issues section of the site walks through the laws surrounding different types of content that might appear in an artist’s work, covering everything from sex and violence to satire and remix. If you’re looking for a quick run-down of the key points, check out the What You Need to Know page for each issue. The Basics provides a complete introduction to the topic, while Laws, Cases, and Other Resources is where you’ll find a full legal analysis of each issue, with links to key laws and cases. In the Roles section, we highlight some considerations that artists and content hosts should make when posting work, and the Risks section outlines the liabilities an artist might face, both in the U.S. and abroad, for work they share via the Internet.
Another factoid: The site was built by the ghost of Andy Warhol… OK, it was built under a grant from his foundation. Oh… and CDT tossed in a bonus: Any artist can submit his or her work to the site in hopes of getting it made into a (generously sized) banner for the site. Wanna see just how gutsy this free speech, civil liberties group really is? Throw some really edgy, walk-the-line art their way and see what happens… Just sayin’ You can find the details on how to submit by clicking this link.
- New Site Aims To Help Artists (techdailydose.nationaljournal.com)