Sheep's Parade II, the Big Sheep

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


by Isabel Saij


1-How has humanity learned since centuries? Any progress was based on previous discoveries and on the avalaibility of documents, researches,...

2-Recently (second half of the 20th centur) more and more discoveries, products, creations are "protected" with patents, copyrights,...

3-The reaction to the protection on softwares was the "open source" launched in the mid 80's.

4-The mid 90's saw two other phenomenons: the apparition of internet and the growing number of people having their own pc at home. It means now that information is widely avalaible, knowledge is easy to share, communication is possible through out the world,...

5-But it is not so obvious because the majority of what can be found on internet is either patented or copyrighted. In a way or another it is protected.

6-The response to that point came in 2000 with the creation of new licenses (creative commons, free art license,...) in order to allow the transmission and diffusion of knowledge and culture. In other words to come back to the roots (see point 1 above) and be active as artists, writers, musicians, this movement.


The decision to work in the frame of a copyleft license has many implications. As said above such a website contributes in its way to the diffusion and sharing of culture. Each participant comes with his/her own ideas, with philosophical, political, social, economical, aesthetical,... motivations. It’s worth to underline that the current technology allows to work together independently from any national or cultural distinctions. The decentralized process contains/carries a subversive matter: the loss of power...

Principles of the "Free Art License":

With this Free Art License, you are authorised to copy, distribute and freely transform the work of art while respecting the rights of the originator.

Far from ignoring the author's rights, this license recognises them and protects them. It reformulates their principle while making it possible for the public to make creative use of the works of art. Whereas curren tliterary and artistic property rights result in restriction of the public's access to works of art, the goal of the Free Art License is to encourage such access.

The intention is to make work accessible and to authorise the use of its resources by the greatest number of people: to use it in order to increase its use, to create new conditions for creation in order to multiply the possibilities of creation, while respecting the originators in according them recognition and defending their moral rights.

In fact, with the arrival of the digital age, the invention of the Internet and free software, a new approach to creation and production has made its appearance. It also encourages a continuation of the process of experimentation undertaken by many contemporary artists.

Knowledge and creativity are resources which, to be true to themselves, must remain free, i.e. remain a fundamental search which is not directly related to a concrete application. Creating means discovering the unknown, means inventing a reality without any heed to realism. Thus, the object(ive) of art is not equivalent to the finished and defined art object.

This is the basic aim of this Free Art License: to promote and protect artistic practice freed from the rules of the market economy.


Who can participate?

Well, everybody can participate: there is absolutely no condition of eligibility!

What should I know before participating?

The copyleft movement is perfectly legal: it is based on a license whichdescribes precisely in which legal frame it is working.
The main idea is to transfer some of your "rights" to others (see above theprinciples), "rights" you get automatically as soon as you've have made a creation.
More information:

What are the rules to participate:

-only something (drawing, photo, text, music,...) on which you have thef ully copyright can be put under a copyleft license.

-you can make a work, write a text or compose music,... and put it under the"Free Art License". Then you have an original work which is now copylefted.

-you can modify a work, add a comment to a text, arrange a music which is already under the "Free Art License". The result of your adaptation is a derivative work. The derivative work MUST also be placed under the same license.

-you can also use a derivative work and bring your own touch. You produce another derivative work which must also be placed under the same license.

What is forbidden?

For instance you can't:

-download a photo, a picture from internet or from any search machine (like Google) and put it under copyleft or add it to a copyleft work if you have no idea of the legal status of the photo, picture,...Even without indication the work is automatically protected by a copyright.

-use a song of the "Beatles" (or any other band) to illustrate a copyleft work.

-make your own a copyleft work (in other words to put a copyright on a copyleft creation)

For the project "Sheep's parade" which came just before "Big Sheep", Miguel Jimenez "Zenón" sent a diashow. It was a composition of 3 pictures starting from the famous painting "Las Meninas" by Velázquez. Miguel Jimenez made a modification to the original reproduction of the work and he gave us his agreement to put his creation under copyleft. It shoudn't be a problem because the painting is since a long time in the public domain. But it is a problem because now the photos of the painting are copyrighted! A scan from a book, a download from internet is not allowed until you ask for permission! The only solution would be to do yourself a photo or to get an authorization! In order to avoid any problem or to wait for an hypothetic agreement, we have decided that Miguel Jimenez' s work should not be placed under copyleft.

How can I enter the "Big Sheep" project?

-add an original work to our collection of sheep

-modify one of the original work (located here: ) and send it back to us at, subject > BIG SHEEP.

-modify a derivative work (located here: -click the images to enlarge them ) and send it back to us at

-participate in the blog Big Sheep ( ) with comments and texts.

- the remixed works can be images, animations, movies, texts, whatever you imagine... but they have to measure 640 X 480 pixels and have not more than 300 kb.