[Community_studios] Citizens of Athens! Was: Copyright is essentially wrong

Anatoly Volynets anatoly at total-knowledge.com
Thu May 9 02:03:58 EDT 2002

> > > We need to get rid of people who would rape and pillage our knowledge
> > > and creations, and the issue of copyrights would go away on its own.
> > > And THAT would be a perfect world...
> > >
> > >
> > > Alex Heizer
> >
> > "Get rid of people" doesn't sound, does it? Think opposite: get rid of
> > copyright (which is normal task in terms of law) and enjoy wide access to
> > works of art, their derivatives and copies of any kind, whoever makes
> > them.
> Again, I don't think most people would want to give up their copyrights
> knowing that there are those people that are just waiting to abuse their
> generosity. I'm not talking about myself here, necessarily, although it
> does make me nervous to think about an illustration with my name on it
> appearing on a poster put out by some guy in the south wearing a white hood
> talking about the virtues of Der Furher. I was emailed by a band the other
> day who wanted to use a painting of mine for their album cover. I let them
> use it with no problem (they were very courteous and offered to send me a
> few copies when the CD came out), but I couldn't help but think of this
> discussion and the issues involved. Merely saying "get rid of copyrights
> and it will all be okay" isn't the answer because there's always that
> spectre there. You're not giving people anything that makes them feel at
> ease with the idea. The problem still isn't copyrights, copyrights are a
> band-aid to help stop profiteers from bleeding everyone dry. The problem is
> the abuse by slimy jerks that have no creativity of their own who would
> steal everything from everyone else. If social values don't change at the
> root level, people will never feel comfortable giving up the safety-blanket
> of copyrights. If we push to abolish copyrights without fixing the real
> problem (abusers) we'll come off looking like the enemy because we forced
> people into giving up their creations against their will.
> Alex
Alex: I am glad you brought in few new points to land the problem on cultural 
fields. You want to control your work to protect it against abuse. You want 
to be the judge.

Imagine, one day A Poet comes on Agora and says:
Citizens of Athens! I brought in my new play (it never happened this way) and 
want you to judge it. You two ignorants in the first row on the left, close 
your ears: I do not want you to hear it at all. You in the second row on the 
right, please do not say a word: your vulgar speech does not fit in here, 
despite you do understand things. Those three friends in the middle of the 
last row do whatever you want here, but don't you dare to retell my play 
outside: you will forget the major point, I am sure...

The point is that your creation, make a guess... does not belong to you. It 
belongs to me - your reader, listener, and so forth.
I think I know who are the real and major pirates, abusers and thieves in 
cultural fields: those, who buy works (exclusive rights) out using laws, 
which protect 'rights to make copies'.
Let's take one example. For me the 'Lord of the Rings' looks like abuse of 
the Tolkien's book. If rights to make a movie based on the book are not 
bought, then other movie, real work of art may appear, otherwise we are all 
stuck to the abuse.
You cannot control turnover of the great creation. That is why great creators 
never care about it. They are sure in what they want to say to people and 
this is for people to decide what to do with it.


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