Artist deploys shakespearian Copyright-Defense against Pipeline

Ein Künstler aus Kanada hat sein Land gegen die Pipeline-Pläne einer Ölfirma damit verteidigt, dass er sein Land als Kunstwerk angemeldet und es damit urheberrechtlich geschützt hat. Laut kanadischem Recht können Ölfirmen ein Right Of Entry für die oberen 6 Inch (18,78cm) der Oberfläche beantragen, um eine Pipeline durch Grundstücke zu legen, deren Besitzer sich weigern. Dem hat der Mann mit seiner Grundstückskunst und seinem Copyright auf genau diese 17,78cm tiefe Oberfläche, die nicht zerstört werden darf, einen ganz cleveren Stinkefinger gezeigt. Bravo!

Realizing that mining companies can legitimately lay claim to any land underneath private property to a depth of six inches, van Tiesenhausen contacted a lawyer who drew up an intellectual property/copyright claim that said that if the oil company disturbed the top six inches in any way, it would be a copyright violation.

This is eerily similar to the defense Portia deploys against Shylock in “The Merchant of Venice” in which he is legally entitled to extract a pound of flesh from a debtor who can’t pay, so long as he doesn’t extract a single drop of blood or marrow or bone.

“The oil company wanted to come across with a pipeline,” said van Tiesenhausen. “And I said: No! And they said that I don’t have any choice because we own the top six inches and they own everything else underneath, the mineral rights, etc. That’s the way it works in Canada. And I said: you can put your pipeline as long as you don’t disturb the surface. Of course, it’s pretty much impossible or very expensive. But it’s not a field or just a forest, it is an artwork! And they realized that I have a case. So for last 15 years they have left me alone.”

Alberta Artist Copyrights Land as Artwork to Keep Oil Companies At Bay (via GabriellaColeman on the Tweeties, Image via Shutterstock)