Saturday, September 12, 2015

The International Fight Over Marcel Duchamp's Chess Set; Atlantic, 9/8/15

Quinn Norton, Atlantic; The International Fight Over Marcel Duchamp's Chess Set:
"Often called Moral Rights, French creators and their heirs are entitled not only to remuneration, but a high degree of creative control on how their works are used or represented in the world. It was this idea, of controlling how the artist's creation is used by others, that brought the estate to issue their Cease and Desist against Kildall and Cera. Farcot is particularly interested in how 3D printing is influenced by the mishmash of Berne laws governing the world. I spoke with him while he was waiting on an Ultimaker print of toys he was giving children in an upcoming weekend workshop he was teaching.
“It’s not black or white,” Farcot said. “It’s not easy for the creators, Kildall and Cera, to... say they should go ahead, go to court and they will win easily.” Facing a ruinously expensive legal fight thousands of miles and an ocean away, Kildall and Cera backed down. They quietly removed the files from Thingiverse, and negotiated a resolution with Duchamp’s heirs.
If the case was too hard to fight in French court, it would have been almost too easy to fight in U.S. court, the jurisdiction that could affect the lives of Kildall and Cera. “So under U.S. law, the chess pieces are absolutely in the public domain... and a U.S. court won’t honor French moral rights. I don’t see any practical way for the Duchamp estate to sue over the 3D-printed chess pieces in a U.S. court,” said Mitch Stoltz, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation who specializes in intellectual property."

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