According to the definition of the German Supreme Court, art is what someone takes responsibility for. This responsibility is indicated through the practice of attaching a name to every artefact. Authorship has both legal and cultural significance in Western culture. The current legal discursive framework is based on the constantly expanding copyright laws and those challenged by creative commons. The former underlines the importance of individual contribution, defends the rights of authors, but shifts toward corporate interests. The latter emphasizes the collaborative character of culture, defends the rights of authors, and orientates toward the non-commercial. 
The cultural discursive framework of authorship is challenged by post-structuralist theory  and appropriation art.  According to Michel Foucault, the author is “a certain functional principle by which, in our culture, one limits, excludes and chooses.”  Roland Barthes argues that writing and the author are unrelated; the reader replaces the author as the primary subject of inquiry.  Appropriation practices helped shifting interpretation of artworks from modernist (focusing on formal and original qualities) to postmodernist view (concentrating on discursive and allegorical aspects) and explore the modes of operations in consumer society (~interpretation ~discursivity). Appropriation art was often defended by post-structuralist arguments in the course of legal cases that occur from time to time. However, this is not the only point where legal and cultural aspects meet—in digital culture, where “all intellectual work is now ‘software study,’”  the analysis continues to explore not only artworks, but the frame in which they are being created.
The role of the contemporary curator, as an active producer of meaning, can also be considered through the notion of authorship. (~interpretation ~curatorial). From this perspective, artists are considered authors of artworks and curators as authors of exhibitions. Nevertheless, assuming the curator as author can lead to potential conflicts with artistic autonomy.  Since conceptual art, land art, performance, and fluxus expanded the conventions of how art is produced and presented  (~exhibition display ~discursivity ~performativity ~educational turn ~new museology), both artists and curators are involved in exploring formats of institutional critique and methodologies of display. Consequently, methodologies of creation and presentation have started to blur in the last four decades (~curatorial).
The major medium for curators with an authorial attitude is the international group show. Jens Hoffmann describes his approach as “forming temporary alliances with artists to produce grand narratives that are bigger than the sum of their parts.”  The emergence of new biennials conceived by international curators in the 1990s, the dominance of the exhibition form in context for art constituted as art, and the emancipation of curators as cultural producers, nonetheless, still draw criticisms.  This strengthens the critique of curatorial dominance, while current work conditions—when the projects are planned together by artists and curators (~collaboration ~participation)—blur the boundaries further between the types of practices (~curatorial) . Therefore, it continuously needs to be deliberated whether this temporary alliance is in fact satisfactory to both parties.
References and Further Readings
 Lawrence Lessig 2004 Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity. Penguin, New York. http://www.free-culture.cc/freeculture.pdf
 Roland Barthes 1977(1967) Death of the Author. In: Image-Music-Text. New York, Hill and Wang, 142-148. Michel Foucault 1977 What is an Author. In: Donald F. Bouchard ed. Language, Conter-Memory,Practice, Ithaca, NY, Cornell University Press, 124-127.
 For instance, Elaine Sturtevant: Flower paintings (1965), Richard Prince: Untitled (1975), Sherrie Levine: Sons and Lovers (1976-1977), Goran Djordjevic: Against Art (1979), Mike Bidlo: Jack the Dripper (1982).
 Focault, Ibid.
 Barthes, Ibid.
 Comment of Mathew Fuller in 2006-os cited in Lev Manovich 2011 Cultural Sofware, manovich.net, Manovich, Web. March 28. 2013 http://www.manovich.net/DOCS/Manoich.Cultural_Software.2011.pdf
 See, for instance, Daniel Buren 2004 Where are the Artists? (2004) / Exhibition of an Exhibition (1972). In Jens Hoffmanned.The Next Documenta Should Be Curated by an Artist, Frankfurt am Main, Revolver, 2004, 26–31. Also online: e-flux.com, E-flux, Web, March 28. 2013. http://www.e-flux.com/projects/next_doc/d_buren_printable.html
 Jan Verwoert 2006 “This is not an exhibition.” In: Nina Möntmanned. Art and Its Institutions: Current Conflicts, Critique and Collaborations., Oslo, Black Dog Publishing, 2006, 132-141
 JensHoffmann -- Julieta Aranda 2008 Art as Curating ≠ Curating as Art. Art Lies, 59/2008, Art Lies. Web. May 14, 2013 http://www.artlies.org/article.php?id=1654&issue=59&s=0
 Anton Vidokle 2010 Art Without Artists? e-flux Journal. 16/2010, Web. Sept. 4, 2012. http://www.e-flux.com/journal/art-without-artists/