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In a message dated 97-05-24 08:25:34 EDT, LLAREC@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (LC Lloyd
Archive) writes:
<< even if there were only 2 or
 three in the edition? Should artists be liable for this kind of legal
 deposit? >>

This is an interesting problem.  How to prevent a claim on one's work.  Well
it seems that legal claims like most everything else in the courts is based
on words and interpretations.  If we learn anything at all from those who
have the skill and expertese to evade paying what most of us might consider
legitimate taxes, it is just how slippery words are.  How often are we set
back in agast at some technical loop hole that is an egregious evasion of
what should be obvious.  Lawyers and the courts seem to be very much hung up
on words and interpretations so it's not a matter of reality that is at issue
here.  Well, obviously.  The intent of the legal deposit thing probably
overlooked the special conditions that should apply to the case in point,
however the law is written as is and someone is being a stickler about
enforcing the letter of the law.

If this were something that I had to deal with, then I would play the game as
it is meant to be played, that is claiming that a rose is not a rose but an
apple instead.  Devious?  Well sure it is, but how often are we forced to be
that way because of the rigidity of certain rules that are made without
reasonable exception.

In the case of handmade books that are issued in very limited editions or
even if not but are expensive to produce, maybe some thought could be given
to calling such works something other than books.  A book could legitimately
be considered a number of other things as well as a conventional concept of a
book.  It could be a portfolio, a simple compilation of ideas, a
presentation, a unique work of art (even if hand made in limited editions), a
component of something larger such as a conceptual work of art, and the list
goes on.  Of course all of these suggestion are exaggerations but when we are
forced to defend something that is personal, like our family or home, then
there are no polite rules that need to be abided by.

Devious behaviour may be onerous to some and it may be important to call a
book a book and nothing else.  Okay, then you may have to live with the
consequences of integrity, but how important is nomenclature?  The work
itself has the value not the name, so there may be options open yet that can
allow one to slip through the barriers of unreasonableness.  It may simply be
a matter of the imagination and taking advantage of the weakness of strict
wording to protect that which is most meaningful.

I would consider the demand to extract a copy of only a few special books
made to be akin to a working man or woman being handed a corporate sized tax
bill on wages earned.  It's very much the same thing in this case you know.

I'm not suggesting that any of the above is the most intelligent thing to do,
it's simply another route to consider.

Chris Ray


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