Wednesday, May 25, 2005

File sharing and the "Creative Communist" evolution...

OK, so I'm a late-comer to this idea, but I like it...

First, over at BoingBoing a while back I found the idea of a "copyleft" - the "free culture" version of a "copyright." You can see the initial idea for the backwards-(c) logo over here. Evidently, the idea has to do with the comment made by Bill Gates that file-sharing is essentially communism - and the "copyleft" seems to be a kind of pirate-flag for the file-sharing folks.

Then, MegNut shares her feelings on file-sharing over here, and I have to admit, I'd agree with several of her points, including the digitization of the vast libraries of the out-of-print recordings of the RIAA. She then suggests that what we need is "a bumper sticker that says to the recording industry, 'Your failed business model is not my problem.' "

Then Paul Beard posted this bumper-sticker and t-shirt art. And somewhere in the midst of all this, the "Creative Communists" were born. (Of course, now they're capitalists, because they're selling their "swag"...)

For what it's worth - I really do support people's rights to intellectual property. While I'm really glad when people quote me, I think if someone were passing my stuff off as theirs, and giving it (or selling it) to others, I'd get really, really annoyed. I'm one of the few people who never got on the Napster/Kazaa bandwagon (I tried a couple files from Kazaa, and got a really, really nasty virus infection out of it, and that was the end of my file-sharing days). But I also like the idea of being able to tape and share tracks from my favorite CDs with others, primarily so they can check it out and buy them if they like. So I'm back to the Lutheran model - both saint and sinner - in this area.

I do agree with MegNut on the out-of-print music stuff - because there are dozens (if not hundreds) of out-of-print titles for which I would willingly and gladly pay cash, if they were available digitally.

Hattip: www.cafepress.com has really cool stuff. Lots of it. And thanks to AKMA for the tip.

5 comments:

APN said...

My whole opinion during this "intellectual property" discussion of the past 5-7 years has concerned the literary side of the debate. Does an author get royalties of any kind every time that someone checks a book out from the public library or ANY kind of library (church, personal, or otherwise)?? I know that libraries pay for the copies of the books on their shelves, but do they pay John Grisham $1.00 (or whatever the cost of a song download might be) everytime that someone checks out his newest legal thriller?

What is "intellectual property" and what right do we have to copyright and market our thoughts? I, like Steve, enjoy seeing people reference my thoughts, but I don't (at least not yet) freak out if that person doesn't make it clear that they used my words. Maybe I should. Maybe I'm the stupid one for putting out my screenplay-in-progress out as a blog, scene by scene, for someone to see, copy, borrow, and develop as their own. I don't know.

I guess that, as a burgeoning artist in my own right, I just don't see what the big freakout over people file-sharing. Maybe I just don't make enough money on my art yet to care if people are sharing my music without paying.

But I go back to this point -- what kind of money do authors make when people borrow books from the library over and over again? Do they get a cut? If not, then singers & bands need to SHUT UP!

Hehehe....

TN Rambler said...

N,
I can agree to a point. However, how many people go to the library, check out John Grisham's latest then go to Kinko's, make several thousand copies of the book and give it away?

Nathan said...

Is the copyright sign backwards or upsidedown. I guess it is how you look at it.

I am with Steve on the old stuff. If the publishers cannot sell enough copies to justify copy and distribute material (books, music or movies), then place it in a data warehouse somewhere for us to download at a nominal fee.

Has anybody seen a copy of Yellow Beard (of Monty Python fame) on DVD?

Nathan

Mitch said...

Some things should be free and accessible to all:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Main_Page
http://species.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

APN said...

Good point there TN. I do have fond memories of friends and acquaintances (my brother being one of them) in college checking their textbooks out of the library copying the necessary pages for each week's assignment. That way, they didn't have to pay the exhorbitant bookstore fees for each semester's textbooks. It happens....