Skip to comments.Dude Downloads $5 Million of Stolen Software to 1TB Hard Drive for Art Exhibit
Posted on 08/24/2011 8:10:27 AM PDT by mamelukesabre
Art is about freedom of expression, and it sometimes results in controversial pieces that challenge the social norms or intentionally push the boundaries of decency for one reason or another. But does there ever come a point when artwork crosses the line? A 1TB external hard drive sitting on a white pedestal at the Art 404 gallery begs that very question, the one you have to ask when someone crams $5 million worth of illegally downloaded software into a storage device and calls it art.
Credit goes to thenextweb.com for stumbling upon the "5 Million Dollars 1 Terrabyte" exhibit, which is a companion piece to "Google Search For Meaning," a pyramid shaped sculpture with a projector on the opposite side beaming a hacked version of Google Maps that drives through Street View on auto pilot.
Accompanying the $5 million piece of evidence art is a PDF file that lists all the illegally obtained software that's been stuffed into the hard drive, complete with shortened (TinyURL) links. A sample of what's on there includes $3 million worth of fiction books from 2003 to 2011, a science textbook collection worth half a million dollars, 124GB of copyrighted music, fonts, Adobe software, various game system ROMs, and more. The hyperlinks mostly reference pages on The Pirate Bay and MegaUploads, with a few other torrent sites littering the list.
Art 404, in case you're wondering, "is an online portal and exhibition space interested in the contemporary technological art movement. Through Art 404's exhibition space, Low Budget Gallery, Art 404 acts as a medium for artists to whow work as well as a place for globally accessible experimental art projects," the website explains.
So what's the verdict, is the 1TB hard drive an art piece or a crime scene on display?
insofar as art is an expression of a culture’s values, I guess a boatload of stolen software qualifies.
Duchamp displayed a urinal and called it art. That was in 1917.
This hard drive is not very different.
What if he did a sculpture with pieces of stolen jewelry? He would be guilty of theft of those items.
How is this any different?
Stolen goods, are stolen goods. If we imprison people who illegally download music/movies - then this person has basically turned himeself in.
Throw the book at him.
Who’s your Dada?
That’s nothing. The entire text of Obamacare can fit on a small thumb drive. And that represents billions and billions of stolen dollars.
Hey. At least it ain’t a Crucifix in a bucket of urine.
I don’t know that it screams art as much as it does YARD SALE!
If you have to explain to me why something is art, it isn’t.
everything is art. Artists don’t have a monopoly on art. The graphics on a can of pepsi are art. The tread on your car tire is art.
This “work of art” is about protest. It is protesting the insane lawsuits against ordinary people by software companies. This is why I like this “work of art”.
I've always had trouble with "theft" of copyrighted material. Stealing a diamond necklace is clearly theft as the physical possession of the goods is proof. When dealing with intellectual property however, physical possession is a bit more tenuous. If I take a book from the library and don't return it , that is clearly theft. If I run the book through a scanner and copy every page and then return the original it is a violation of copyright and considered theft even though the original is back in the library. However, if I sit down and read the book cover to cover, no problems legal or moral. But the book now exists in my mind and if I choose, I can sit down at a word processor and write a paraphrased copy (with names changed to protect the innocent), what then?.
In a similar manner I could decompile a piece a of copyrighted software, examine the logic and rewrite it so as to "paraphrase" the logic and maintain function without using a single line of the original code in the finished "rewrite". Were I to do that I would have stolen the idea, I guess my question is the abstract "idea" protected by copyright or is it it's expression in compiled code? There are many ways to express the same idea, be it in a work of fiction or a computer program (Lotus 123/MS Excel and Wordstar/MS Word come to mind).
I've always felt that all art is derivative and there is nothing new under the sun, check your TV schedule for empirical proof!
The entire text of Obamacare can fit on a small thumb drive. And that represents billions and billions of stolen dollars.
Not to mention all the words of the presidential crook and the full and complete sessions of both house and senate proving conclusively their complicity in the theft of T R I L L I O N S of dollars of wealth of the citizens of the United States of America.
And there are security guards preventing someone from stealing it.
Lets call in the FBI and turn it into a real “happening”!
It could be an empty shell. No one knows if what is on the hard drive is what the artist says it is. It’s like an air painting.
Just another symptom of sick liberal minds.
Vote: Not Art
To make it even more complicated, many software companies want their products to be by license so unless you use it you do not break the agreement and have not stolen it.
If everything is art, why even have a concept of art. While I will admit that art is a nebulous concept there has to be something that differentiates it from everything else. I simply believe that if something cannot evoke emotion without an accompanying story, it is not art.
If one could look at (or touch, or hear, or smell)a storage device and be able to tell that it was a protest it would be art. As it is, you must tell me a story about it to make it a protest. In this fashion I could take any object, make up some fantastic story, and call anything art.
In this fashion I could take any object, make up some fantastic story, and call anything art.
now you get it. everything is art.
But lets examine the classical art forms. the old paintings, greek statues, and classical piano, ballet dancing, symphony, orchestra, opera, shakespearean plays...
These were merely cutting edge technology and ideas in their day. Why is it that the concept of art had to stop evolving at that point in time? I say styrofoam is art. I say laser light shows are art. I say fourth of july fireworks shows are art. I say helium balloons and 3D IMAX motion pictures are art. I don’t even think music should qualify as art anymore. I don’t think still photos or drawn images should qualify as art either.
That isn’t art. A felony conviction for theft would be art.
Okay well there are several issues to be addressed in your logic.
First of all, COPYRIGHT is what it says. It is the law that defines who has the RIGHT to make a COPY, or copies, of a work and thereby potentially profit from the sale or distribution of those copies. Your didactic memory doesn’t get you around copyright law once you transfer the “book” from memory to paper, just as selling your “Backup” copy of a cd on ebay is a no-no.
When you say “Paraphrase” you immediately get around the concept of Copyright as long as you paraphrase literally everything. I’ve seen books turned down by publishers because of a single paragraph in a 700 page book that was too similar to something else.
Where you run afoul of the law with software is in the process of decompiling the code. EVERY piece of software comes with a license agreement that clearly states that your rights to use the software are immediately revoked upon any attempt to decompile the code. You never really OWN the code or the program, you have only purchased the right to make a single copy (depending on the license) on a single computer. Think of it like renting the neighbor’s mule. If you decompile Daisy to see how she works .... well you’ve just killed Daisy and you didn’t purchase that right when you rented her.
You are exactly right about there being many different ways to get to the same spreadsheet. You cannot copyright an idea, for that you need a patent. But the code that makes the software run is on file with the copyright office and if you suspect someone has “decompiled Daisy” you can verify your ownership and force them to STOP and rewrite their own code. Just take a look at APPLE and their IPhone issues in Europe.
“I’ve always felt that all art is derivative and there is nothing new under the sun, check your TV schedule for empirical proof!” (Now who said that? Hmmmm )
The key in the above is “Derivative.” I have to wonder what hoops the latest Transformer’s movie had to jump through that allowed them to have Leonard Nemoy say “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one!” Believe me they paid handsomely!! Or got a release from the company that owns the rights to that particular Star Trek movie.
Great Handle by the way, just don’t go selling yourself as a Middle Earth Wizard or you may run afoul of . . . copyright law simply by adopting the name!
Every software company already “Licenses” their software. You have NEVER owned the code. EVER. (Unless you are a software developer and specifically bought the code. See RIM vs Blackberry) Buying software is a misnomer. You are purchasing a single (usually) license for the right to make a single copy of the software onto your hard drive. Whether you actually ever use the program is of no interest to the software company other than the manner in which your use affects their support staff.
Copyright is all about the RIGHT to COPY. Whether or not this “artist” ever used any of the programs he’s copied onto the harddrive . . . well there, I’ve already said it. He made copies onto his hard drive without purchasing the license to do so. He is in violation of copyright. Now, if that same “artist” has ever purchased any of the software that he has made illegal copies of he/she is ALSO in violation of the software companies software license agreement which is a whole other ball of wax!
That being said, the courts have decided that in order to pursue a copyright violation, the owner has to show that the violator KNEW they didn’t have the right AND that the act of copying caused “significant” monetary damages.
Download and use a single piece of Microsnot software and you’re probably not gonna get arrested (probably). However download everything Micorsnot sells and you’re into Grand Theft territory and THAT could mean trouble. Remember how the music industry started enforcing their copyrights. Go after the big downloaders and the distributors. Easy to prove monetary damages there! AND easy to scare soccer mom’s with kids that downloaded.
You’ll have to elaborate on “Insane lawsuits” for me. If it’s insane for ordinary companies to protect their rights by going after the disgusting people that violate their copyrights, it must be insane to chase down and arrest that guy that broke into your neighbor’s house and stole their diamond jewelry. Both actions are illegal and enforceable by law.
(Please note, I use your term “ordinary” and my term “disgusting” solely to point out the bias that seems to tilt one direction in your post not because I hold either point of view personally.)
IMHO its not about protest as much as it’s about anarchy.
Believe me if someone stole his precious hard drive he’d be ticked off and demanding justice!! Just because something is easy to steal . . . . well it still ain’t right!
How is a bundle of stolen property “art?”
Obama’s election is even degrading FR.
Great idea! I think I'll apply for an NEA grant!
>> “Great idea! I think I’ll apply for an NEA grant!” <<
Just don’t try a beeker of piss, that’s already taken...