Monday, December 01, 2008

Copyright Violations and Doll Parts

Yesterday, I had discovered and posted some remarkable and disturbing images of miniature doll parts here and I'd written some little texts to accompany them.

I had posted the images of the miniature doll parts on this blog, however, the creator of the images, Lesley Shepherd, requested that I take them down because of copyright violation. I had thought that posting images and their link from something gleaned on the web was not a copyright violation, especially since I was neither claiming them to be mine nor competing with their original use (in this case, how to make miniature dolls.) (And the copyright notice at the bottom of my blog says that the work is copyright by me, or by its creators.) Also, I thought that creating collages with found imagery was fair use in the way that work created in parody was fair use. And this without going into the whole area of art appropriation. "Fair use" is complicated legally. Anyway,I did some research, and Ms. Shepherd is correct, as far as I can tell, that I am violating her copyright. I suppose I could have chosen to keep the images on my blog anyway -- there likely wouldn't be any particularly enforceable consequences, other than eventually having to take them down -- but I don't want to offend her and I feel governed by rules of decency and fair play. I wish she would have let me post these interesting images (the posting of which, I can't imagine, would have any negative or detrimental effect on her doll making site) because they make for good art, but they are her images and she has the right to choose, as I have the right to choose how to respond. (She did explain to me how I could apply to purchase the rights to the images, but that seems beyond the scope of my reposting them or the one modest collage I made. I certainly receive no financial considerations for the blog.)

Of course, if it had been my images or my writing, I might have been equally keen to protect their original intent and my copyright.

Taken out of context, the images do have an uncanny, discomforting sense about them. Outside of their context, the images do say some interesting things about how we regard the body.

Here are links to Ms. Shepherd's images and the texts which I had written to accompany them. I assume that it is fair to post links to the original images.

(image removed. see here.)

the lungs: two owls
the teeth: two fences
memory: a tawny thing I think of as an owl

I'm all thumbs and an owl
or the thumbs of an owl

my thumb is an owl
red-faced and inscribed with a labyrinth

(image removed. see here.)


instead of paper
filling the tray with liquid
printing reports on water

meniscus as an organizer
the rippling surface of the reader's sighs

(image removed. see here.)


my people, the hands of dolls
elephant tongues

twitching hand grenades
leaves in the backyard

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