Copyright Law

This strategy would involve attempting to apply copyright law to real property, by transfer of Intellectual Property Rights to Public Domain Use

When I began to consider that the best way to construct a handover of real property to the public might lie outside of real property law, I considered that it might be possible to assert copyright to This is the Public Domain as an artwork consisting of the land with the superimposition of a different social and legal framing. The artwork, consisting of process and site, would be released into the public domain.

As it is illegal to use eminent domain to take an artwork, this seemed like a way to both realize the project and protect it in perpetuity. However, it's neither possible to copyright a conceptual artwork, nor copyright the land.

After realizing my misunderstanding of copyright laws' relevance for real property, I considered that if I could only give away rights of reproduction of an artwork, traditionally defined as an object, perhaps there was an object I could put on the land that could be given away physically under an expanded reading of “reproduction.” If I could find an expanded definition, perhaps I could include the land as an extension of this object, by designating the outer boundary of the site as the limit of the sculpture's base.

To this end, a sculpture/park bench was constructed with help from Meadowsweet Dairy and Trevor Tuttle. The bench is to be moved to the land when ingress and egress are legally assured.