Preliminary Court Decision in Favor of International Art Project
The international sportswear company Nike is trying to get the installation "Nike Ground — Rethinking space", created by the renowned artists group 0100101110101101.ORG, banned by court. Meanwhile the Commercial Court of Vienna has taken a first crucial decision.
Quite apart from the fact that this is an attempt to ban a work of art, the Commercial Court has rejected Nike’s plea for a provisional injunction on formal grounds. The decision was based on the fact that the law suit against Public Netbase was filed by Nike International. This company has its principal office not in Austria, but in the USA and therefore would have been required to pay a deposit covering the cost of litigation in case of a ruling in favor of Public Netbase.
Public Netbase’s attorney, Mag. Michael Pilz, who consistently underlined the artistic nature of the installation, pointed out the formal defect in his response to the plaint. "This is a major step ahead for the project", declared Konrad Becker, director of Public Netbase. The law suit with Nike will now enter its next round. Moreover, the installation remained on Karlsplatz until its official takedown on 28 October. "The Court’s decision motivates us to protect the freedom of art against the ruthlessness of corporations with even more determination in the future", Becker concluded.
According to 0100101110101101.ORG spokesman Ted Pikul "Nike is a perfect subject for a work of art. The Swoosh is probably the most viewable brand on earth, more than any political or religious symbol. Now these giants are loosing control over their own brands, which in the hands of pop culture are turning into boomerangs".