Dotcom Light Sculpture On US Embassy Could Get Artist Jail Time

Dotcom Light Sculpture On US Embassy Could Get Artist Jail Time

The United Stasi Of America, eh? Yes, I can see why some people might get upset.

A light sculpture projected onto the side of the US Embassy in Berlin could get the artist, Oliver Bienkowski, jail time, according to German newspaper Der Tagespiegel. The performance, all of thirty seconds long, featured Kim Dotcom of Megaupload in all his glory, with the tagline 'United Stasi of America' - a reference to the former East German secret police - plastered over it, and a soundtrack featuring such memorable quotes as 'what about free speech, Mr. President', as sung by Dotcom himself. In so doing, the artist may have violated Paragraph 103 of the German Penal Code, which makes it an offense to insult foreign heads of state. The penalty could be as much as three years in prison, increasing to five if combined with libel charges.

The artist's lawyer, Fabien Eickstädt, is arguing that, since the art was projected on the side of the US Embassy - American soil - German laws don't apply. Moreover in order to start the prosecution, someone would have to file a complaint, and the US Embassy doesn't appear to be in any kind of hurry to do so.

"Using the satirical art form of satire," said Bienkowski's lawyer in a statement, "which has always featured exaggeration and hyperbole, Bienkowski protested in a legitimate manner against the massive reduction of civil rights, in particular the recently revealed attacks on the privacy of (not only) German citizens by intercontinental interceptions. With his light installation, Mr. Bienkowski has put his finger into the wound, making a vital contribution to the public debate and public opinion."

Source: Ars Technica

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The irony would be too delicious if that gets the artist jailed.

It's illegal to insult foreign heads of state in Germany? DAMNIT OBAMA!

He didn't just use satire; He used satirical satire. That's like satire2.

The germans have a law like that? Seriously? Really? I'm just hallucinating now right? ...Right?

Captcha in the meantime seems to think it's all about pie charts.

Evil Smurf:
It's illegal to insult foreign heads of state in Germany? DAMNIT OBAMA!

That's right Germany, give John Stewart and Craig Ferguson another reason not to like you.

Scars Unseen:
He didn't just use satire; He used satirical satire. That's like satire2.

He should change his name to Jean Paul Satire!

Oh for the love of pete Germany... Shouldn't you just turn your blind eye to this one. Your amiable relationship with america hasn't exactly been broadcast from the rooftops, it's a fucking piece of satire that's fairly relevant that went on for a grand total of half a minute.

Oh wait... Germany. Jokes. Welp good going artist, you tried. Sadly you tried in the wrong country.

Fuck even the American Embassy doesn't seem to care.

I like it. Would love to see more from this artist.

Scars Unseen:
He didn't just use satire; He used satirical satire. That's like satire2.

This. How can you jail him for using ascended satire?

OT: Well, Diplomacy 101 rule number one: "Don't poke the bear". The guy went and poked the bear, which, considering the country-affecting diplomatic consequences that can come from poking the bear, is a ludicrously stupid thing to do. Keep it in the art galleries and on the internet, dude. Taking it to the bear den is just asking for all of the trouble.

Since when did we start calling projector slideshows "light sculptures"? Seems a bit self-aggrandizing.

el_kabong:
Since when did we start calling projector slideshows "light sculptures"? Seems a bit self-aggrandizing.

I know, right?

With a term like that I was expecting something like a hologram.

DVS BSTrD:
[quote="Evil Smurf" post="7.822075.19873611"]That's right Germany, give John Stewart and Craig Ferguson another reason not to like you.

I read that as John Stewart and Craig Ferguson don't like me, then I re read it. Also my iPhone 5 autocorrects "reread" to "redhead" ;D

Assault with a Deadly Projector.

This. This is why I'm starting my own country. Shake the Etchascetch

Halyah:
The germans have a law like that? Seriously? Really? I'm just hallucinating now right? ...Right?

Captcha in the meantime seems to think it's all about pie charts.

I didn't know, we had such a law... it just seems like a(nother) no-brainer to me.
Germany has many of those unfortunatley. On the other hand: not really a suprise in a country ruled by (ex-)jurists and lawyers...

Good to see that free speech is alive and well in Europe.

Halyah:
The germans have a law like that? Seriously? Really? I'm just hallucinating now right? ...Right?

Captcha in the meantime seems to think it's all about pie charts.

most of those laws come from the time of the postwar and the anti-nazi laws.

I actually never heard of it before

Edit: Also I think The United Stasi of America is fitting. After all they do it even better than the Stasi and those were the best at what they did.

Zhukov:
With a term like that I was expecting something like a hologram.

I was expecting something cheap and tacky, like light-brite

image

Instead it looks like an internet meme put through a projector. Which is also cheap and tacky, but with none of the charm.

When we had the Chinese President visit Denmark, no one was allowed to mention Tibet or protest in their presence, with penalty ranging from being escorted away, to incarceration.

Yay. Go free speech. Hurray.

On this topic, it's hard to believe that anyone will go out of their way to punish these guys. It's not even vandalism.
It's a regular case of someone being butthurt and wants to lick the assholes of US diplomats in order to maintain good relations.

While my country takes distance from the US spying on other countries, they're not in a hurry to do anything about it.
Saying that you oppose something, doesn't mean you oppose it, especially not if you're doing jack shit about it.

Heh, that's pretty good. The art I mean.

Jailing him would be dumb.

Gaol time for insulting a head of state is absurd.

OTOH, might be a rule against doing that to embassies instead of some random wall.

Paragraph 103 of the German Penal Code, which makes it an offense to insult foreign heads of state

Is that a thing? He'd better come over to Blighty were you can call any head of state a twat, just don't bad mouth Her Maj' or your head will be on a pike outside the Tower.

Zombie_Moogle:
Assault with a Deadly Projector.

This. This is why I'm starting my own country. Shake the Etchascetch

If I expatriate from the US, how long do I have to reside in your country to gain citizenship?

el_kabong:
Since when did we start calling projector slideshows "light sculptures"? Seems a bit self-aggrandizing.

Before reading the article or seeing the video, I wondered what a light sculpture was and pictured what appeared to be a stone sculpture, but made of styrofoam instead. It's light and it's a sculpture!

Disappointing it wasn't as hilarious, but the message is there I guess.

Lo Flying Frying Pan:

Zombie_Moogle:
Assault with a Deadly Projector.

This. This is why I'm starting my own country. Shake the Etchascetch

If I expatriate from the US, how long do I have to reside in your country to gain citizenship?

Haha, excellent question. I should probably start working out those details

I've already decided to annex the Great Pacific Garbage Patch; seriously, how has no one planted a flag there yet?

Charli:
Oh for the love of pete Germany... Shouldn't you just turn your blind eye to this one. Your amiable relationship with america hasn't exactly been broadcast from the rooftops

I'm guessing the govt wants to make inroads, they probably had some good chances before Prism completely turned the public against that.

Bah, I came in here all excited about being able to decry the American Government and sarcastically state 'The land of the Free indeed'. Instead I'll just say this.

Et tu Germany, et tu?

Classy.

Oh, Escapist, you and your news.
He is currently not accused or anything.
The matter is being "investigated" by the police, which basically means they're thinking this may be illegal and might eventually question him or something.
He has gotten a lawyer, yes, but there was no trial or something, he just got a lawyer as a precaution.
Btw. He's also supplying anonymous with his light projectors.
There were 3 "light sculptures" in another 3 german cities and they want to sent at least one projector into each continent, so that people can demonstrate the same way.

Zombie_Moogle:

Lo Flying Frying Pan:

Zombie_Moogle:
Assault with a Deadly Projector.

This. This is why I'm starting my own country. Shake the Etchascetch

If I expatriate from the US, how long do I have to reside in your country to gain citizenship?

Haha, excellent question. I should probably start working out those details

I've already decided to annex the Great Pacific Garbage Patch; seriously, how has no one planted a flag there yet?

A widespread lack of vision ...

As an American who isn't a fan of Dotcom, I find this whole ordeal amusing and don't think the
"artist?!?" should be penalized. But if Germany has a case, it's in their court.

A law where it's illegal to insult foreign heads of state makes a lot of sense. You don't want some idiot (artistic or satirical intentions aside) messing up the relations between two foreign nations. Don't hate on Germany about this when they are only upholding their own laws. I think the whole thing is idiotic. I'm in the camp of, "If America doesn't care, then why should they care", but it's also a sensible law.

Honestly, I kinda want him to get jail time for misleading us with this 'Light Sculpture' stuff - I came here expecting to see hardlight holograms or shit sculpted out of actual light, not some shitty projector for 30 seconds.

This man got my hopes up before crushing them. He's just the worst kind of person. THE WORST KIND.

I agree he should be arrested for this. He plastered it on a United States building. Freedom of speech protects you from being reprimanded by your own government for speaking out against your own government, not for potentially creating a diplomatic incident.

He should have directed his ire towards whoever is the minister of foreign affairs of his own country for not putting pressure on the United States via diplomatic channels.

Free-Speech? No, they do not want free speech. What they want is too steal other peoples creative works.

This "light sculpture", I do not care about. It does, actually, fall under Free-Speech so they can do that as a form of protest.

But Dotcom and his ilk, they do not care about anyone's rights but their own. They would gladly take away everyone's rights to produce, if they thought it keep them from having to pay for content.

Karloff:
The artist's lawyer, Fabien Eickstädt, is arguing that, since the art was projected on the side of the US Embassy - American soil - German laws don't apply.

Sounds like someone needs a new lawyer.

Contrary to popular belief, diplomatic missions do not enjoy full extraterritorial status and are not sovereign territory of the represented state.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embassy#Extraterritoriality

Isn't it illegal to insult someone in general in Germany?

I heard of one instance were two people were bought to court for getting into a mild argument over a parking lot. There wasn't even any swearing.

 

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