Revenge vs. Copyright: 0-1

Revenge is sweet. But sometimes it can hit you in the head. If you aren’t careful. Or blinded by anger.

Danish artist Kristian von Hornsleth was pissed off not amused by a critical comment by arts journalist Camilla Stockmann in Politiken, a newspaper.

Instead of taking it as a man, Von Hornsleth plotted revenge: he produced a pornographic collage, featuring a photograph of Camilla Stockmann, superimposed onto a sexually graphic scene. Critical comments, no more, he must have thought. But the Danish high court gave him a slap on the wrist. A big slap.

The court found Von Hornsleth to be guilty of infringing the copyright Lizette Kabré (the photographer of the Stockmann portrait), and ordered the artist to pay Kabré nearly €7,000,- in damages and legal fees.

“Freedom of speech!”, Von Hornsleth said in court. The ‘sexual scenery’ was merely an artistic reaction to Stockmann’s article. He wanted to reply to her in his own language and the pornographic work showed how critics “fuck” (yes, this is a quote) others in the sense that they criticise them.

Freedom of speech also has its limits.

 

Erwin Hauër

“Hope is not a strategy.”

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