Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives
"The words I am uttering penetrate your senses, so that every hearer holds them, yet withholds them from no other...I hope that everyone will consume everything; so that denying no other ear or mind, you take all to yourselves, yet leave all to all others." (Saint Augustine)
The exhibition will explore and look into the very idea of copyright, its history and development, and its presentation and importance through numerous aspects of our lives.
With due respect to the rights of the creators the exhibition will also stress the importance of access to informational, educational, and scientific works. Copyright discourse is dominated by the protection and enforcement of the right holders, who are often not the creators themselves, so the exhibition presents the alternatives to the "all rights reserved" approach. The prevailing message emphasizes that copyright is about a balance between the rights of the creators and the users or re-users. Nowadays, however, this balance is leaning towards the control of works by the creators or other rights holders.
From a dark tunnel symbolizing the original rigid concepts of copyright the visitor enters the "arena" of the exhibition hall that offers a variety of interactive experiences. One of them is a book scanner machine, which can be operated by the visitors. According to the intention of the organizers, the books scanned on this home-made machine will be offered to the Hungarian Electronic Library. Across the exhibition space the 17 meter banner presents the chronology of copyright history. Alongside current technical devices, various machines that have helped us to scan, digitize, and copy in the recent past are on display. Twelve computer installations offer small internet exhibitions on their own. Through these the visitors can have a sense of the impact of technological development on the copyright story. While walking through the exhibition the visitors can learn about copyright issues in relation to youtube, wikipedia, fair use and public domain, free software and Open Access, torrent sites and Creative Commons etc. The visitors are welcome to sign the Public Domain Manifesto and the Barcelona Charter for Innovation, Creativity and Access to Knowledge in the exhibition hall.