English / Deutsch

26.4.2008 | Mime Centrum Berlin

Specimen 0843 (SportsTrax)

Kobe Matthias + Lina Lindheimer + Björn Frank

In 1997, the Motorola and Stats Corporations made a pager-type device called SportsTrax, which displayed score updates of US live sports games. A conflict arose when the NBA claimed that Motorola and Stats were not entitled to use the score data. During the court case NBA v. Motorola and STATS, Inc., the judges stated that "professional basketball games are not original works of authorship protected by copyright." Sports games are considered accumulations of facts (nature) and are not afforded copyright protection unless they are fixed in a tangible medium of expression (culture). Under the title Specimen 0843, Agency brings together an assembly of performers, legal scholars, athletes, and economists to explore questions of copyright, originality, and authorship, and shows what sports can tell us about art.

Kobe Matthys is artist and founder of Agency. He conducts longterm research on the practice of reappropriation and the public domain. Agency, founded in 1992, has for several years been preoccupied with "quasi-things"—things that have uncertain status and sit at the bifurcation of "nature" and "culture."