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From the front page of the 2001 July/August issue of The Art Newspaper:

All's well that ends well

Last year, The Art Newspaper and the group to which it belongs, Umberto Allemandi e C., had to fight off a hostile takeover bid by a Franco-Luxembourg internet company, which, in the lunacy of the dot.com boom, managed to persuade some of our share-holders that its shares in a virtual art-trading market enterprise were worth more than those in our publishing business painstakingly built up over twenty years. Because a few shareholders remained sane --- and it turned on a fraction of a percent of the holdings --- Umberto Allemandi was able to buy out the web enthusiasts, and The Art Newspaper, the Italian Giornale dell'Arte and the book publishing business were saved. What happened to the internet company? It never launched itself on the stock market, of course, and it continues a feeble, virtual existence, unable to pay its bills. ....

The same issue contains a thoughtful article by Simon Stokes concerning copyright issues, "The public domain and free flow of ideas are under threat". Stokes mentions:

A number of artists are looking to the "open source code" movement in the US to redress the balance. In open source software, developers make their code freely available for others to use and exploit provided users also agree to keep their code "open" and available for others on the terms of a written "public" copyright. Similarly the artists behind the "Copyleft attitude" movement (http://www.artlibre.org) have devised a "Free Art Licence" which is designed to ensure the user can copy, distribute and freely transform another's work of art whilst respecting the rights of the originator. The intention behind the licence is to encourage access to art works and creativity --- "to promote and protect artistic practice freed from the rules of the market economy". ....

There's also a "Focus on Australia" section including a kindly John McDonald essay re art critic Robert Hughes and his recent unfortunate troubles. A few decades ago Hughes wrote The Shock of the New, a book and educational-TV series which helped me begin to see that some aspects of modern art might not be not totally bogus. Hughes is now suffering from the aftereffects of a horrifying car accident, compounded by lawsuits and a family tragedy, the suicide of his son. My sympathies, Sir....

TopicArt - TopicSociety


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