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Re: copyright

Dear Book_Arts members,
Pardon me, but what has this consuming issue of copyright got to do
with binding, typography and collecting?

Tales of fretting about the legalities of school project collages and
rubber stamps? "Horror Stories" about marbled paper?  Where will it
end? Why shouldn't the oil paint and turpentine producers demand a
licensing agreement for any handicraft or work of art created with
their products? Surely, creating pretty colours is also a valid
industrial art, isn't it?
 I do not mean to deny any artist or craftsman his dues, nor demean
any creative expression or skill as less valid than any another.  But
shouldn't we be more concerned with suporting the arts and preserving
an artist's freedom of expression rather than worrying about whether
his heirs will be compensated 50 years hence or which of us has wasted
more time memorizing unenforceable laws? Are we seeking refuge in the
insignificant? Perhaps I've addressed the wrong forum with these
questions. I hope not.

An alternative point of view:  Chi Baishu, one of China's most admired
20th Century painters, was often requested to authenticate a painting
which had his seals and working names affixed. The master is
on record as having admitted that when he thought the painting had
merit, whether it was actually his own work or not, he would claim it
to be genuine!  I do not judge his actions, only offer them for your
consideration. In his biography he is quoted as saying that in his
career he painted something like 30,000 watercolours, both large and
small. At present the collective art "experts" confirm the whereabouts
of more than 100,000 genuine Chi Baishu paintings! What a field day
the lawyers and tax accountants would have had with this naughty

 Let us love, create, laugh and focus on our collective noble spirit
rather than toil to pay our retainer fees.


Bruce Miller
Lover of the Arts

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