More Crap From Dead Artist’s Family Members
MercuryNews.com | 04/20/2006 | Artist’s family asks Google to take down today’s `painted’ logo The Mercury News is reporting today on the news that deceased artist Joan Miro’s family has asked Google to take down a version of their Google logo that yesterday incorporated parts of his art due to copyright. So let’s get this right. Google chooses to create a special logo to honor the art and memory of Miro and his birth in 1893 and his family wants to get all pissy about it?
First off, and I don’t venture into politics, finance and taxes much at all, but in general I think massive inheiritances of either money or art rights are a terrible thing. Fundamentally I think the fact that wealthy families generate huge unbelieveable warchests of cash/art/real estate whatever to dole out to those fate chooses for the luck of birth is stupid. One thing I admire about Bill Gates is that he’s said that while he will leave some cash to his family that the bulk of his estate will be given away. Personally I’d like to see something like a $3 million maximum that any one individual can every inheirt. $3 million gives you more than enough to live out the rest of your life while encouraging you to leave the remaining amount of your wealth to those who need it more, your charities of choice. If you put a 100% estate tax on all assets more than $3 million this would do the trick and this would massively improve the charitable giving in this country helping those that need it most. You’d probably have to put a provision in for spouses and partners but beyond that no one individual should ever inheirit more than $3 million.
Now back to Joan Miro’s family. What a crock of crap. Great art especially belongs in the public domain after an artist dies. Time and time again dead artists’ family get all proprietary about their dear deceased loved one’s work and send off BS letters like this cease and desist to Google. This in no way harms them. In fact you might say that building awareness of the life and work of Miro only makes their assets more valuable. But at the whim of some whiny family member they hit Google, who was trying to do a nice thing in honoring Miro, with a cease and desist. When families horde away great art and suggest that the public shouldn’t see it we are all that much poorer for it. And even if it did somehow negatively affect the value of Miro’s art, ok, well I’m sorry, personally I don’t very well care much if the Miro family has $48 million instead of $50 million due to the intense negative publicity of something like, god forbid, being on Google’s homepage.