5 Million Dollars 1 Terabyte: Illegally Downloaded Files as Art


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You’ve got to admit, it’s a pretty brave to say to a judge “downloading all those illegal files worth $5 million is just art, Your Honor.”

Here are the details on the “5 Million Dollars 1 Terabyte” sculpture:

A new exhibit at the Art 404 gallery, 5 Million Dollars, 1 Terabyte, blurs the boundaries of between sculpture and skullduggery, conspicuously displaying a hard drive with $5 million of stolen property.

“5 Million Dollars 1 Terrabyte” (2011) is a sculpture consisting of a 1 TB Black External Hard Drive containing $5,000,000 worth of illegally downloaded files.

[Source | Via]







19 Responses to 5 Million Dollars 1 Terabyte: Illegally Downloaded Files as Art

  1. It may be art, but I don't see how that is an excuse for stealing. I don't think the artist will/should get away with it. (I'm not saying that it's wrong to download files of course :P just pointing out that that was a very lame excuse)

  2. Only $5,000,000 dollars makes "art"?? I guess my friend's hard drive is a master piece pulled out of the butt crack of Leonardo DaVinci. Moron. I'll be impressed if he actually got away with that excuse.

  3. It is art. Great art. Not in the traditional sense of a painting or a sculpture, but rather that of an idea that challenges the observer to view his own concepts and ideas of what art is, and how it fits into society’s preconceived notion of what definitions and borders are.

  4. The highest art of this sort would be if the artist (not saying whether it's show-worthy or con) not only got away with it, but got paid as much for the piece as the stolen files were worth.

  5. I think it is art, by our contemporary definition of the word. Think about it like this if you disagree: within that external drive is what our entertainment industry claims is worth $5,000,000 and yet there it sits. Certainly one can say it is "stolen", but perhaps the "artistic view" is to challenge the notion that it is even worth $5,000,000 to begin with. The thievery of it only adds to the artistic view, because can you really say it is worth $5,000,000? It is merely a set of 1's and 0's arranged a certain pattern that could be quite simply duplicated or erased with the press of a few buttons. If duplicated, would it then be worth $10,000,000? Would anyone actually purchase such a thing for such a price? If not, then it cannot truly be said it is worth that amount. Furthermore, without really attempting to delve into a debate on ethics of digital piracy, has the creation of this item actually caused a loss of $5,000,000 to the entertainment industry? Have their inventories turned up anything missing? Of course not, but yet the entertainment industry is the one claiming (in all reality) that this is worth $5,000,000 and the "artist" is merely parroting those claims.

    • Interesting thought… Give enough monkey's enough typewriters, one of them will eventually write War and Peace.

      If there was a piece of software which randomly wrote 1's and 0's to a hard-drive, there is a possibility, no matter how small, that (for example) Photoshop CS5 could be created on it as a result. I wouldn't have copied anything, it was pure chance, so would that be piracy? And, if such a piece of software existed, how would it ever be possible to prove without doubt (that's how the law works, right?) what was or was not randomly generated?

  6. How do you even know it really has all the information on it? It could be blank, as far as anyone of us know.

  7. 1tb is that all? should be at least 5tb before it could be considered anything significant.

    seriously, who gives a flying F**K – this is just a lame ass display of common piracy nothing more.

  8. sure its art, but if i were the judge id order him to pay all for all the material on the HD from any money he makes as an artist untill he has paid for it all :P

  9. Seems that the artist could have gotten by with a 100MB hard drive and made the whole exhibit more impressive.

    Based on the $250,000 per song figure allowed in The Digital Theft Deterrence and Copyright Damages Improvement Act of 1999, the hard drive contains 20 songs. At 4MB per song, that comes to 80MB. So a 100MB drive would contain $5M in stolen music with room to spare.