UbuWeb & Intellectual Property

As you may or may not know, UbuWeb was “hacked” a couple weeks ago, if you tried going to the site what you saw was the image above. This sparked a big discussion online. The question, however, was not, “who hacked it and why?” but rather, “is this a good thing or a bad thing?” The right/wrong debate ultimately comes down to issues of intellectual property – I wrote an essay on the subject for Fnewsmagazine.

  • “…the modern world has seen the extension of law further and further into what was earlier the exclusive realm of the heart.” – Luis Hyde.            “UbuWeb has been hacked. The site is closed until further notice.” These where the only words on the front page of what had been known to be, “the definitive source for Visual, Concrete + Sound Poetry.” UbuWeb was an online archive of experimental film and sound which, as its founder Kenneth Goldsmith explains, “posts much of its content without permission; we rip full-length CDs into sound files; we scan as many books as we can get our hands on; we post essays as fast as we can OCR them.” UbuWeb has been the subject of much controversy and harsh criticism. This is because what UbuWeb does is “illegal” and of the utmost cultural importance.

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