I sat typing an exhaustive list of terms from the videos we needed to watch, processing the legal terms and the different sides of the copyright & piracy issues. The more terms I added to my list (which I will post in the comments) the brighter the light bulb above my head began to glow.
I have a VERY strong bias here.
This boils down to a discussion about ART.
Watching Good Copy/Bad Copy resulted in immediate, intense conversations in my house. As I looked at some of the work of my classmates, I kept wondering, how was I going to write a blog post about something I had a very strong opinion on as well disagreeing with some of my classmates comments as to the content included in Larry Lessig’s TED talk? Where do copyright arguments end and art begins?
These discussions have had a very profound impact on me that I cannot quite explain. I am a writer. I cover many things and write in some form almost every day. Some things have made me money. Many more have not, but I still write. I was reminded of writing about my first pirated song, Rappers Delight. I write children’s stories, political commentary, about Veteran’s issue and I write “adult” erotic literature. I write about cosplay artists that the mainstream world sometimes doesn’t understand or bullies. They don’t get sued by DC or Marvel. I write about archery as I watch my daughter set lofty, expensive goals. I have a son that has both used Pirate Bay and is a published music composer. These ideas surround my life daily. It also made me think, you should watch Amanda Palmer’s TED talk. She has the answer, period.
As a Christian, I was surprised that people found images in Good Copy/Bad Copy blasphemous. I thought it was both accurate and Monty Python level hilarious. Maybe I am the only one? I say it was accurate, supremely accurate indeed, because he is singing “I Will Survive” while being hit by a bus. This is awesome because the viewer watching knows he is resurrected! What is a MORE accurate description of the Christian experience than that? Is this different if I wore a “Jesus is my Homeboy” shirt? As a Christian, isn’t this a way to show my faith? The extreme Christian image offered in Lessig’s TED talk then reminded me of Rob Bell. In my opinion, I find Rob to be a spiritual artist of sorts in that he conveys profound spiritual lessons in a modern retelling that rocked my world the first time I saw one of his videos (most specifically Rain and Bullhorn Guy). He is a Christian who has been called blasphemous and a heretic.
He is an artist who tells stories. Amanda is an artist that tells stories. I am an artist that tells stories. It’s not about getting rich; it’s about connecting with material and doing what you love.
I don’t believe the Internet will ever stop creating copyright issues but interesting to me in the documentary, Nigeria has created a profitable film industry without copyright laws. Brazil has found a way to promote artists in remix that will not make them money from those CDs but in the ticket price people will pay to go see them. The idea that industries are loosing money because of alternative means, I feel is not accurate. The Kickstarter for the Veronica Mars movie is one example. This is not strictly an indie production; the studio is fully involved and now will make a fortune when it sees that fans are willing to pay for material. Then Zach Braff followed suit. Then it turns out those two projects netted nearly half a million for other projects. As Amanda so eloquently explains, if they want to pay, let them. If they can’t, let them have it anyway.
I recently fought, and lost, an argument with Amazon because I have been willing to give away my material before in certain situations. Because several years ago, I did share a story with a particular site in a foreign country for a limited time, I cannot sell the title in digital format. Even though people have already bought it willingly.
That seems counter to the point of artists but, as I sit here listening Justin Timberlake Essential Remixes, an album in which he PAID DJs for the remixes of his songs, maybe I can never really understand all the argument.
Now, after the debate ends on what is piracy and copyright ends, what government will start the legislation on how to define “GOOD?”