Copyright Laws Die Hard
Last November the word "COPYSHOP" was painted—in big red letters—across the brickwork at 317 N. Gay St. It's the latest, and perhaps most controversial, installment at the Art Gallery of Knoxville—Copyshop, in short, was designed to challenge copyright and intellectual property laws.
Enter Scott Brenneman, the city's sign-enforcement inspector, who informed gallery owner Chris Molinski that he hadn't filled out the proper paperwork before they painted the brick facade. Molinski has now submitted all the necessary forms, and after a quick review by the Metropolitan Planning Commission he received a "Certificate of Appropriateness." The certificate states, among other things, that the "sign is a part of an art gallery exhibit and is to be a temporary installation."
"It will be repainted," Molinski says, "because they approved it on the terms that it is a temporary installation, a part of the exhibit....It's a little bit complicated."
But the Copyshop project ran into yet another legal snafu on Friday, Jan. 11, when the gallery hosted Pirate Cinema. They had intended to screen a bootlegged copy of Live Free or Die Hard, but before the screening began, an investigator from the Motion Picture Association of America walked into the gallery. He had driven all the way from Nashville to deliver a cease-and-desist order. There were five people in attendance that night.
Pirate Cinema was conceived to help facilitate discussion about civil rights and intellectual property. But with the threat of a lawsuit, Pirate Cinema Knoxville has decided to suspend all screenings of works that are legally represented by the MPAA.
"There are a few narrowly described circumstances (such as face-to-face classroom situations) where a license is not required to show a movie" the MPAA's letter read. "The showing of a movie on your premises at The Art Gallery of Knoxville (even if it is free of charge to the public) is not one of those circumstances."
Pirate Cinema Knoxville will resume on Friday, Jan. 25, by screening works that are within the public domain. (Kevin Crowe)
Get Your Drink On
Drink, a new nightclub located behind Western Plaza on Kingston Pike, is positioning itself among Knoxville's premier dance clubs with this weekend's appearance by New York's DJ Skribble. The New York DJ, who has toured with Public Enemy and the Chemical Brothers and was featured regularly on MTV in the early ‘00s, is one of a handful of high-profile, brand-name out-of-town DJs and electronica acts to make a stop in Knoxville in recent months: Florida's DJ Icey and Los Angeles spinner Reid Speed both performed at Blue Cats in November; Icey is making another appearance there on Thursday, Jan. 24, followed by British acid-house DJ Lee Coombs on Saturday, Jan. 26; and the Crystal Method is set to perform at World Grotto on Feb. 22.
Rod Youree, one of Drink's regular DJs, says the club's managers plan to bring in visiting DJs once a month. Drink, an outpost of the Food & Drink clubs in Chattanooga and Murfreesboro, opened on the weekend before New Year's Eve. "It's been great," Youree says. "Each week it gets a little bigger."
Skribble will appear on Friday, Jan. 25. Admission is 18 and up. (Matthew Everett)
Hey, Hey Mama
Led Zeppelin may not be playing Bonnaroo, but Knoxville's getting the next best thing. In case you don't read any newspapers or websites and don't listen to the radio or even talk to other people, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss' Raising Sand tour, one of the most anticipated rock tours of the summer, will be stopping at the Knoxville Coliseum on Tuesday, April 22. The tour's supporting the pair's 2007 album Raising Sand, which MP staff writer Mike Gibson picked as one of his favorite discs of the year and described as "an album that weaves rockabilly, bluegrass, folk, and classic rock into one beautiful, seamless tapestry."
Knoxville is one of only four confirmed U.S. dates on the tour, which starts in Louisville, Ky., and goes to Chattanooga and Birmingham, Ala., after the Knoxville date. Tickets ($50-$70) go on sale Friday. (M.E.)