UBU Returns, Doesn’t Need Your Permission

UBU WEB was hacked, but now it’s back. “If we had to ask for permission, we wouldn’t exist,” says Kenneth Goldsmith, creator of epic online avant-garde archive, admitting to non-profit piracy.

Goldsmith is responding to a discussion on an experimental film listserv with a heart-felt open letter. He fesses up to “poaching” the web and fishing in private file-sharing communities to build UBU’s amazing archive:

Because we have no money, we don’t ask permission. Asking permission always involves paperwork and negotiations, lawyers, and bank accounts. Yuk. But by doing things the wrong way, we’ve been able to pretty much overnight build an archive that’s made publically accessible for free of charge to anyone.

“Ubu is a friend, not a foe,” he adds. “Ubu doesn’t touch money. We don’t make a cent” or take grants, just University-donated server space. Plus, any artist or copyright holder can have their work removed immediately, if they want, but many have their work legitimately hosted on the site, by their own request. And so, UBU has created a passionate community and fostered mass cultural exposure to rare, out-of-print, hard-to-find and up-and-coming artifacts.

Kudos. Plunder on!