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Art versus economics
fineArt forum, vol. 14, no. 3, march 2000
     

Editorial: Nisar Keshvani

Art versus economics. Never the twain shall meet.

Judging from events in cyberspace in recent months, there appears to be some definite truth in this.

For those out of the loop, Transasia Corporation is suing French non-profit arts organization, Association Leonardo for a million dollars on grounds of trademark infringement (full details below). It is by no means the first and definitely not the last of such a lawsuit.

There are dozens of such cases (see http://www.rtmark.com/netabuse.html). HMO Health Net is attacking http://www.HealthNet.org, founded in 1993 by a Nobel-winning cardiologist to connect doctors in the developing world; even the Vatican has not spared artists' group Vaticano.org. Clearly, this leaves everyone vulnerable.

A similar David & Goliath-style battle was recently waged between art group etoy and toy retailer Etoys, with etoy emerging the victor. The toy retailer dropped its lawsuit when corporate consultants RTMark who played a major role, rallied support and stopped the toywar. You can view the run-up of events at - http://rtmark.com/etoy

Watching these events unfold is indeed tragic and one can't help wondering what would happen if tomorrow some major conglomeration decides to sue fineArt. As a voluntary organisation what could we do to protect ourselves?

This issue is devoted to Leonardo. fineArt pledges its support to the right of Leonardo/ISAST and Association Leonardo to continue their use of the name LEONARDO in their websites, publications and projects.

And as our readers you can play a part. We hope you aid Leonardo's cause too! Visit http://www.olats.org, follow the link "Proces contre Leonardo" and send support emails to isast@sfsu.edu or send donations if you can.

There's no other time like now, for the arts community to take a stand and rally our support. We're looking forward to hearing your views and opinions, and will endeavour to post them up here at fineArt.

You will make a difference

     

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