An interview with Sebastian Lütgert

Sebastian Lütgert is an artist, programmer, writer, co-founder (with Jan Gerber) of Bootlab and Pirate Cinema Berlin. He has co-initiated a number of projects on intellectual property, cinema and the internet, including textz.com (2001), the cinema archive 0xdb.org, the Oil21.org project, Pad.ma, and the open media archive pan.do/ra. Sebastian Lütgert spoke to us at the Alternative Law Forum in Bangalore and explored the ideas behind many of his projects and…

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Chapter 1: Introduction

Introduction Intellectual property laws confer a bundle of exclusive rights in relation to the particular form or manner in which ideas or information are expressed or manifested, and not in relation to the ideas or concepts themselves. The term “intellectual property” denotes the specific legal rights that authors, inventors and other IP holders may hold and exercise, and not the intellectual work itself. And this already complex description becomes even…

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Chapter 2: Locating the Author

There is a strange irony in the term author. In most usages across the world, the “author” is a common sense and an obvious term. An author is a person who writes something. However, the literary theories sought to address the complex process of creation. Thus, often deeply metaphysical concepts, the positions and discourses around the author have vacillated across centuries and across countries. This discussion attempts to bring together…

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Chapter 3: The History of Ideas

The History of Ideas “Steal not this book, my worthy friend For fear the gallows will be your end; Up the ladder, and down the rope, There you’ll hang until you choke; Then I’ll come along and say – Where’s that book you stole away?” – Medieval Book Curse Pre History of Copyrights The idea that an idea can be owned – is a child of the European Enlightenment. It…

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Chapter 4: Private Networks and Public Access

Private Networks and Public Access: Technology and Copyright law The “transforming revolution” of the twentieth century, the advent of digital technology radically changed the shape of “literary works,” their production, exchange and consumption as well as the paradigm of the debates around copyright laws. The changing nature of the author, proprietary nature of ideas, ownership and control all coalesce in and are invalidated by the shifting nature of the new…

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Chapter 5: Copyright Movement in India

Developing countries have traditionally understood copyright as an area of both commercial and cultural regulation, and indeed, many of them have emphasized the cultural benefits that may be gained from effective copyright policies. In contrast to this approach, the TRIPS Agreement has brought a new commercial emphasis to intellectual property at the international level. In the area of copyright, the focus of the Agreement is on the development of “copyright…

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Chapter 1: Where’s the Author?

Chapter 1 1.1 Where is the author? There is a strange irony in the term author. In most usages across the world, the “author” is a common sense and an obvious term. An author is a person who writes something. However, the literary theories sought to address the complex process of creation. Thus, often deeply metaphysical concepts, the positions and discourses around the author have vacillated across centuries and across…

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Chapter 2: Copy, Knowledge and the Author

Chapter 2 2.1 The Copy, Knowledge and The Author Knowledge and the Internet: The shifting author In this chapter we question the notions of the fixity of the author through the tropes of knowledge and the circulation of information flows. How can the position of the author be validated in the current times of increased fluidity, when the binaries of the author /reader/consumer are increasingly under question? Lawrence Liang’s article…

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Chapter 3: Film Authorship: Collective or Collaborative

Chapter 3 3.1 Film Authorship: Collective or Collaborative Marjut Salokannel in an essay titled “Film Authorship in the changing Audio-Visual Environment“, says that cinema has been continually confronted with the problem of determining who the actual author of a cinematographic work is. Salokannel discusses the notion of film authorship as a shifting boundary between film aesthetics and legal discourses relating to the authors’ rights. The boundaries have also differed according…

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Chapter 4: Myths of Copyright

Chapter 4 [19]  4.1 Myths of Copyright Soon the Indian Music Industry will be out of sight, there will be a cultural blackout and consumers will no longer be able to listen to music, virtually. That is what the Indian Music Industry – IMI, joining hands with the police and researchers, tried to convey to consumers and media persons this past week as it held a conference to highlight the…

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