MAILBAG

Are artists too sensitive about intellectual property issues?

I refer to the article US campaign video draws flak for not crediting Singaporean photographer (Life, Feb 16).

To me, this appears to be a storm in a teacup situation.

While credit should be given when it is due in any artistic endeavour, have artists become overly sensitive about intellectual property issues?

In this case, the agency, Human, failed to credit the work of photographer John Clang in its campaign video, where the style is similar to his video for the 2009 United Nations' climate change conference.

Like most good ideas, the basic premise of tearing up images and splicing them together is simple, and anyone could have come up with it.

Most of us enjoyed doing collage art in school.

A search online will show that a significant number of artists are doing similar collage work, updated with modern photographic and video technology.

Artists such as Bobby Neel Adams and John Stezaker have been doing it for a long time and to great effect.

Artists should, of course, be aware of intellectual property issues, but an excessive preoccupation may stifle creative output.


Colin Lim

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 20, 2016, with the headline 'Are artists too sensitive about intellectual property issues?'. Print Edition | Subscribe