Week One For the Love, Not the Money

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.

If something I did inspires you, beg, borrow, and steal.  Give me credit or a heads up if you can, but above all, as Neil Gaiman so greatly says “MAKE GOOD ART.”

Now, after the debate ends on what is piracy and copyright ends, what government will start the legislation on how to define “GOOD?”

🙂

4 thoughts on “Week One For the Love, Not the Money

  1. My referenced list of terms and issues from the readings/videos:

    Copyright Issues
    A form of protection based on the Constitution –
    If you create, you have the right to protect and claim as your own

    Not protected-improv, dance or song that has not been filmed or recorded, titles, names, slogans, calendars, tape measure, rulers

    MYTHS:

    Doesn’t have copyright, not copyrighted
    If I don’t charge, its not a violation
    If its posted somewhere, its in public domain
    Posting was just fair use
    Don’t defend copyright, you loose
    Re-mix is mine
    Cant prosecute me!
    Violation isn’t a crime
    Received a copy, I can post
    Never reproduce anything

    ASK PERMISSION!!!

    Good copy/Bad copy

    DJ-Girl Talk

    Remix and sampling—if you sample you license
    $$$
    Danger Mouse
    The Grey Album (2005)
    MPA
    Piracy
    The Pirate Bay
    The Pirate Party
    Creative Commons
    Nigerian Film Community
    Music industry is evil
    Tecno Brega
    Freedom vs. Control
    Creative Commons
    Larry Lessig’s TED talk

  2. Michelle,

    It does seem to be a fine line between art and copyright arguments. For example, I believe dance is an art form. And many people really dance a lot alike. This is one piece of material I think would be very hard to copyright. Even though after listening to the videos and reading about copyright material I just don’t understand some art form such as dance need copyrighting. More importantly, the enormous writing you created; did you frequently fail to copyright some of your materials? You may be missing a monetary opportunity or other purposes such as giving back to a charity.

    Further, I think you are right about Lessig’s TED talk being reminded of Rob Bell. First, there is an old saying that the “truth hurts” and of course Rob Bell stated, “If it’s true, it belongs to God.” Of course, just as you stated Rob Bell is an artist that tells stories and I would imagine most of these endeavors are about what he and others love to do.

    Finally, I am still not sure how Nigeria was able to create their profitable film industry with any copyright laws in place. Are you still questioning this as well? And one other point I don’t think the government is to interested in defining the “Good Copy/Bad Copy to improve our commerce because it may cost more in revenue than the return on investment. What is your take on this issue? Thanks.

  3. Sorry that you found some images in the Good Copy/Bad Copy documentary (though I did have a disclaimer that there might offensive content in the video). Thanks for the link to the Amanda Palmer TED talk. Boy, she’s caused a lot of controversy with her approach to music. There’s a big difference between real connection between artist and fans/friends and the commercial antiseptic approach to the “music business.” It’s another sign of the disconnect between our culture, with it’s bit-torrents and remixes, and the laws of the land, funded by big business interests.

    • Oh I didn’t find them objectionable. I understood the artistic intent and respect their right to do so. Our conversation here was surprise as to the extent that OTHERS in the class had problems with it.

      I loved the documentary and was so glad its watching was “required!”

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