The Arts Project

The ARTS PROJECT analyzes the effects of intellectual property on cultural production, and is supported by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation.

  • Copyright's Futures?Copyright's Futures?
    A preview from the Center's forthcoming comic book Theft! A History of Music – a history of musical borrowing and regulation, from Plato to hip hop – is featured in the San Francisco Chronicle. »more about the comic
  • comic booksComic Books
    Center releases "Bound By Law," a comic book exploring the impacts of intellectual property on creativity - specifically, documentary film. Read the book!
  •  Translate the comic!
    Download text-free versions of the "Bound By Law" comic for translation.

    Leia a tradução portuguesa [Read the Portuguese translation].
    Lire la traduction française [Read the French translation].
    Leggi la traduzione in italiano [Read the Italian translation].
    Leia a versão em Português do Brasil [Read the Brazilian Portuguese translation].
  • contest imageMoving Image Contest
    Center announces winners of its Arts Project Moving Image Contest, which asked for short films exploring the impacts of intellectual property law on creativity (view winning films) (view finalists)
  • Film ChartIP and Documentary Film
    What types of the hurdles are faced by documentary filmmakers in trying to clear rights? What are some possible ways to solve these problems? Find answers to these questions on our explanatory chart of rights clearance problems and solutions.
  • Copyright Office
    Center submits proposals to the Copyright Office on Access to Orphan Works and Orphan Films. Orphan Works probably comprise the majority of the record of 20th century culture: works still presumably under copyright, where the owner cannot be found. (more)

Short movies

  • DylanTo Clear or not to Clear Filmmaker Chris Hegedus discusses how rights clearance practices have changed since the making of “Don’t Look Back” (MPEG version)
  • MLK, Jr.Disappearing History? Filmmaker Orlando Bagwell talks about making “Citizen King” and why “Eyes on the Prize” is no longer in circulation (MPEG version)
  • StravinskyGreat Composers Steal Composer Anthony Kelley visits classical and jazz traditions and explains why you can find a doppelganger for almost any tune (MPEG version)
  • boyle and slossDocumentary Filmmaking Legal experts James Boyle and John Sloss discuss the legal and practical realities facing documentary filmmakers, including copyright law and errors and omissions insurance (MPEG version)
  • broussardMusic Sampling Music lawyer Whitney Broussard describes how law can change the kind of music that gets made, and how clearance processes can make the whole artistic community poorer (MPEG version)
  • *These short movies are licensed under Creative Commons Licenses. Please note that these are only excerpts from a panel discussion at a conference and not legal advice.


  • Splendid Thievery Jordi Weinstock interviews composer Anthony Kelley about traditions of borrowing in music

Arts and Culture