This is where we’ll discuss “Cloud Gate: Challenging Reproducibility, by Jeff Ward in Originality, Imitation, and Plagiarism: Teaching Writing in the Digital Age. I am guessing that many of you have seen this sculpture in Chicago before; this is a photo I took of it last summer.
Even though this essay might seem kind of like a tangent, I really like it and think it’s very much worth including for a couple of reasons. First, I think Ward does a pretty good job of describing just how complicated these issues are, the fuzzy line between what is protected by copyright and what is fair use, and even between what is public and what is private. As this fairly short but complex article suggests, the reasons why copyright and fair use laws aren’t particularly clear is because the defining terms are particularly slippery.
Second, I find Ward’s closing thoughts on the nature of this particular piece of art to be quite interesting– I’m not sure in terms of fair use/copyright or not, but interesting nonetheless. In the last paragraph, he points out that postcards of Cloud Gate have not sold particularly well because “Visitors prefer to photograph their own reflections, to image and imagine themselves in Cloud Gate” (74). That certainly was my experience, as this picture suggest:
This is me from a couple of summers ago.