Is Hunting Via The Internet Okay When It's Art?

from the fish-in-a-barrel dept

Despite the lack of a real problem, the push for laws banning internet hunting — where people shoot animals using a gun connected to a webcam — remains strong. One such bill has been introduced in Illinois, where it’s passed the house unanimously and is awaiting passage in the state senate. Coincidentally, an Iraqi artist has launched a new interactive installation in a Chicago gallery, in which he’s locked himself in a studio for six weeks and letting people take shots at him (via Boing Boing) with a paintball gun connected to a webcam. It’s intended to be a provocative, political piece, but there’s another question: would it run afoul of the state’s proposed anti-internet hunting law? The bill states: “A person shall not operate, provide, sell, use, or offer to operate, provide, sell, or use any computer software or service that allows a person not physically present at the hunt site to remotely control a weapon that could be used to take wildlife by remote operation, including, but not limited to, weapons or devices set up to fire through the use of the Internet or through a remote control device.” Does a paintball gun constitute “a weapon that could be used to take wildlife”, and is the artist setting up a whole bunch of viewers for misdemeanor crimes by inviting them to take shots at him? That seems unlikely, but the coincidental timing of the installation raises one interesting potential unintended consequence of internet hunting bans.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Is Hunting Via The Internet Okay When It's Art?”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Urza9814 says:

Two things:

First of all, the weapon is not and cannot be used against wildlife. It’s locked in a room with this guy. So unless you consider humans wildlife, that ain’t gonna work.
Secondly, unless it’s a squirrel or bird, a paintball probably won’t be lethal.
Oh, and it’s not a hunt site, so it fails that part of the bill too.

I’d say it’s legal.

John B says:

Stupid is as stupid does

…and I think this type of activity is REALLY inane. I hunt animals with a bow and arrow (only ones I eat), so maybe my view isn’t typical, but I mean, jeesh! Just get a shooter video game and have at it.

And don’t get me started about the idiot who lets people whoot at him with a paintball gun…too much like getting paid for BDSM!

Anonymous Coward says:

oh really,

Wouldn’t this prevent the developement of other remotely operated weapons that the military would/could be useing? I saw one time an accidental RC airplane/sparrow midflight collision and it wasn’t pretty for either of them. In that situation the list of people that could be arrested would be huge. Though the guy with the plane was “physically present at the hunt site” the range of devices improves all the time. Though it would be a stretch, one may consider local inhabitants of an area part of the wildlife. This sounds more along the lines of a governmental do as I say and not as I do.

dataGuy says:

not likely

Carlo posts like this one make me concerned that the editorial quality of TechDirt is dropping. Taking two loosely connected stories and trying to manufacture a controversial issue is weak.

Does a paintball gun constitute “a weapon that could be used to take wildlife” – No. I’m sure there are some lawyers willing to try and make such a claim but to us non-lawyers it seems silly.

Why not go for the angle that the law doesn’t seem to cover using a remote hunting service to shoot hunters? However, I’m of the opinion that if a hunter is drunk in the woods with a loaded weapon we should be allowed to shoot them.

TheDock22 says:


Actually, I used to play paintball and have all the laws down. A paintball marker (they are NOT referred to as guns) is considered by law to be a piece of sporting equipment and not considered a weapon in any form. Also, all paintballs made are completely non-toxic. So this artist is not breaking any laws here.

I actually think it is kind of creative what this artist is doing (assuming he at least wears a mask). As far as his legal rights, it is in a private facility so I really see no way this would be considered criminal.

Oh and as far as this law keeping the government from developing remote weapons….we all know the military has their own laws anyway.

Anonymous Coward says:

Heartless Post

“Despite the lack of a real problem..”

Carlos, you’ve got to be kidding….No Problem!!?? There is quite a problem when someone kills a living animal for the fun/entertainment of it!!!

Anyone hunting is doing it either partially or fully for the entertainment of killing the animal. If a hunter says there not in it for the killing of the animal, then ask them to use a paint gun instead of a real gun the next time they go hunting – you will quickly see their interest drop!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Heartless Post

Regarding paintball “hunting,” your argument is baseless…

I’ve shot game animals with paintballs, and it is quite interesting. If you see a 3-pt whitetail buck with an orange “brand” on his arse, that one is mine.

…I’d much prefer to “taze” an Iraqi artist, myself…

Mastalee says:

Re: Re: Heartless Post

to those calling the Iraqi stupid for doing his art installation, perhaps you should call the author of this article stupid. Since he can’t figure out that the artist was in no way hunting wildlife, nor was he wildlife to be hunted…and the biggest one, a paintball gun is non-lethal unless you’re an ant or flea.

the Iraqi is using this beautiful country’s speed of speech and expression to communicate his art. so I call you STUPID.

Anonymous Coward says:

“unless you consider eating a form of entertainment”

Gimme a break idiot – 99% of hunters have full-time jobs – so they don’t need to hunt for the meat – they have the money to buy “fresh” meat from a butcher.

Besides, it’s much more expensive (in both time and money) to hunt then to buy the meat from a butcher! Just some examples: The cost of the gun permit, the cost of the gun itself and the time required to regularly clean it, the cost of the hunting permit, the time waiting for the deer to appear (time is money), the cost for the butcher to chop it up, the cost for the large freezer to store the meat, electricity for the freezer, etc, etc, etc is much more costly then just buying the meat from a butcher when you need it. As you can see, I do know what I am talking about 😉

There’s only one “main” reason they do it – for the fun of it 🙁

omgilovedancing (user link) says:

Re: hrmm.

im only vaguely aware that articles here come from actual specific (human?) individuals, its more like the techdirt massive, hive-mind kind of thing, so i cant say ive really payed much attention to the authors of particular pieces. what i would like to point out is that – having been drawn to notice it for the first time by anon. coward just now – this article filed, incidentally, as ‘Ramblings’ is, indeed, attributed to a “Carlo” ….. anyway, im grateful for the article, despite (or because of) its allegedly dubious logical reasoning. it’s like background texture, they’re two disparate events i would otherwise have been unaware of and so, in that sense, it is good.

Anonymous Coward says:


Fresh deer sausage or roast is some good eating. you can not get that from a usual butcher. Hunting end result is for the food, but the whole experience of hunting is also there too. Lets see, get up 3am, drive to deer stand by 5am, sit and wait for sun to come up while being eaten by mosquitoes. many hours later taking aim at a 6+ point buck at 200+ yards and actually dropping him with one shot if you are lucky.
No I do not hunt. I have friends who hunt. They share their spoils. We all get together and BBQ.
Remote control hunting is lame, the animal would die and rot there. What a waste of food. Worse, someone could remote kill a person it. (profile) says:

where is the fun hunting with webcam

i and my brother usually hunt a mongoose in my uncle poultry farm. the mongoose is hunt for the chicken. and we prevent it by hunting and kill the mongoose. there is fun about it. it make us like real hunter. we think there is a lot fun hunting a mongoose.
i don’t agree when hunting with webcam. there is no fun at all. there is no actual environment like the bush touch with our skin. the trill waiting for the mongoose came out. the wind in our skin.
i am saying that,there are much fun when we out door.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...