Copytheft - Cultural Practices Transgressing Copyright Boundaries
Contribution for the new issue of Disegno- The Journal of Design Culture on Cultural Practices Transgressing Copyright Boundaries, 2016
A few words from the editors:
'Undoubtedly, the most important concrete motivation behind the call for papers of this issue was the belief of the editorial staff that the real transmission of ideas is a tool for the reduction of inequality. This is the reason why we think that the defense of intellectual property, copyright and patents are among the major tools of global capitalism to maintain social and economic inequality. Disegno not only fights the limitation of the transmission of knowledge through the choice of its topic, but also through the fact that it is published according to the standards of open-access academic publications, under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. This issue is thus also a protest against the enormous and immoral profit making of commercial scholarly publishers, which are the main barriers to the free circulation of knowledge, and are the clearest examples of the privatization of knowledge created by public funding.
The papers assembled in the current issue evolve around the already canonical topic of the crisis of the author and of the artwork or the design product itself. We were interested in research papers that targeted artistic or design practices that were based on copyright infringement strategies that tried to circumvent or directly question copyright laws and practices. Our original idea was to critically investigate and better understand the currently fashionable cultural phenomenon of open design in the broadest possible sense, with special attention to the different traditions of transgressing copyright boundaries and suspending the power control of intellectual property that impedes truly democratic creativity and innovation. In addition, we were also interested in the analysis of redesign, remake, and remix practices that question the very idea of exclusive authority in design culture.'