90-year-old fills in $90,000 crossword art, now claims copyright


Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/08/03/90-year-old-fills-in-90000-c.html

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Splendid. We haven’t had a good ‘What is Art?’ debate in ages. I’m just going to rustle up a quick bowl of pasta for dinner, BRB. Have at it!


The Monkey Jesus defense, eh?


They say there’s no defense like a good offense.


Okay, I can see how someone might be confused and think that “Insert Words” was a serious invitation to fill in the crossword.

But claiming the copyright on the “collaborative artwork” takes this lady from “clueless” up to “reprehensible.”


Art is just the last three letters of fart.” --Gibby Haynes


He says that far from harming the work in question, his client has increased its value by bringing the relatively-unknown Köpcke to the attention of a wider public.

I am still desperately trying to understand how/why publicity of anything supposedly increases “value”. Isn’t that like claiming that people with megaphones are more important, so you should listen to them? It sounds like a fantasy of broadcast media.

her “invigorating re-working” of the exhibit

Is that what the 90-year-old kids are calling it these days?


In this case, it seems the unstoppable force of imbeciles in public has met the immovable object that is pretentious concept art.


A 90 year old wrecking your art then claiming copyright = “troll” personified.


Police rushed to the scene and questioned the senior citizen, whose name has been released as Hannelore K.

Hmmm… what’s a 9 letter word for “both greedy and senile”? Starts with “H”…




Wait, does copyright even work like that? Nobody’s trying to copy her work, display it (quite the opposite) distribute or perform it, or create a derivative work.

Even if we grant that she had a copyright claim, I don’t see how that protects the work from erasure. As far as I know, that’s just not a thing.


Yet another reason why we can’t have nice things. :rage:


step back, germany – this is the US’s kind of batshit opportunism. it’s our turf!


Don’t forget that the famous urinal was signed “R Mutt”.

I’m still surprised the urinal manufacturer didn’t sue Duchamp for using his intellectual property without attribution.


Now, in the States, she’d have a claim in the basis of hostile occupancy. Not sure what German law has to say about it. But even so, she’d have had to maintain her “collaborative addition” for 7 years before having a valid claim.


From a brief google of the artist in question, it strikes me that he may very well have found this absolutely hilarious.


the lawyer argued her copyright* was violated as the museum removed her additions

* but I’m quite sure the few letters she inserted are below the threshold of originality (or however one would translate the German legal term “Schöpfungshöhe”) so she did not create a copyrightable work (“Werk”)


Oh, great. Now urinals will come with shrink wrap licenses requiring attribution.


I think we have a new definition of Chutzpah here.