Jakob Gruchmann (Austria) young Musician and Composer

Jakob Gruchmann

Thoughts about Intellectual Property as a Composer


In my opinion, the issue of intellectual property must be considered from two different perspectives in order to get a balanced and meaningful view:

On the one hand, it must be said that any form of appropriation of artistic ideas in terms of plagiarism is not only an act of stealing but can also cause a severe long-term damage to the originator’s management and career.

On the other hand, it is important to mention that the attitude and mindset of an artist should be open to development and change in society. Innovation and the distribution of high-quality ideas to enrich society should be encouraged instead of inhibited. The adoption, as well as adaption of ideas which creates creativity and motion and in this way also a dialogue between the arts is beneficial to our society since it enhances progress and promotes the development of the arts.

In order to be able to evolve, art should not be limited or restricted in any form.

The question which arises is: Can, should and must contemporary art be inspired by intellectual property of other artists?

My personal answer is: Yes! However, in order to avoid a stylistic imitation or replica it is of great importance that the original artistic idea is only used as source of inspiration. The idea should develop, evolve and reshape through individual thought processes in order to gain a unique personal momentum and a new artistic shape. In my view, one could also speak of it as a sort of initial spark. It is not acceptable, however, if one and the same idea is simply presented in a new guise.

Jakob Gruchmann is professor for composition at Klagenfurt conservatory, Austria

For that reason, it is vital to be aware of the boundaries between, on the one hand, the appropriation of intellectual property and, on the other side, the mere use of intellectual property to gain inspiration. In connection with the discussion of this topic it seems inevitable to pose the question in how far and according to which principles the individual dynamics of an artist or the unique momentum of an artistic work can be defined.

Nevertheless, one thing is certain: art should and has to be in constant connection and communication with other arts.

Website: www.jakobgruchmann.com