The New Prohibition – Copyright

Andy Baio gives us another perspective on the war in copyright that is literally splitting our world in two. For those creatives who love the system, thinking that it is protecting their personal creations from those ugly pirates, they will see anyone speaking against copyright as thieves and law-breakers. Then you hear from many other people, of whom all are creative (not just those who claim it in their work as though it’s their own personal badge) who just want to share their own creations with others with no intent to break any law.

Perhaps we all need to revisit the law, which continually gets ramped up to “protect” creators with seemingly little thought to protect their actual ability to create. Now, it’s all about what we can make from all those creations…a business model.

It’s my own personal creation, and I deserve to profit from it (forever, if I can). If you’re using it for yourself without asking, then you’re stealing from me!

I don’t know about you, but my muse is screaming inside me right now. Is this really what we now see creativity as – profit centers? That is a really pathetic statement about our world today. But we can only really understand the truth about copyright today when we hear from someone who has been impacted by the industry (because it really is an industry now and not a limited protection as it was originally intended). Like Andy Baio. Take a listen to his story in this video called The New Prohibition to hear just how frightening copyright has become at the hands of institutions which have vested interests in protecting their own kingdoms. This really is an important talk that Andy does beautifully and with heartfelt sincerity.

I also consider myself to be a creative. And take a stance that sharing just continues the path that creativity has always followed. All ideas can trace a path to another idea – but with a personal tweak. That’s what makes it unique, because it’s built off of my own personal growth. And your personal growth. And that guy sitting on the street corner strumming his guitar. And that girl making that pendant. And on and on and on.

Because we all build off of one another. And we need one another to be inspired. And we don’t need institutions putting up nets that stop our sharing movement. Especially since those institutions also acquire their own stable of innovations from predecessors. No one truly owns anything. We all helped build it.

That’s why we need to re-imagine copyright for the 21st century.  Because we’re living in a huge period of inspirational growth that is being developed by each and every one of us. And no one person or place should have the right to claim ownership on anything that we’ve all had a hand in creating.

How many new prohibitions do we have to live through because of misguided laws? Laws can be beneficial if they are really protecting the greater good. When the benefits become more focused for small groups of rewardees, then there’s a problem.

And while we’re thinking about this, perhaps we need to focus more on where the free trade agreements of today are taking us. They’re going to have a huge impact on the creativity of tomorrow. It’s a pretty scary world that comes pretty close to the V of Vendetta and Faranheit 451 worlds. Why are we just quietly letting this happen? We really aren’t in Kansas anymore, Toto.

- thanks to Techdirt for the share and perspective

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