A scrapbook of stuff I'm reading / looking at / listening to / thinking about...
Posts tagged "copyright"
Apr 20, 2014
I now wonder where the idea or of the ideology of creativity started. Shakespeare and company certainly stole from, copied each other’s writings. Before them, the Greeks didn’t both making up any new stories. I suspect that the ideology of creativity started when the bourgeoisie—when they rose up in all their splendor, as the history books put it—made a capitalistic marketplace for books. Today a writer earns money or a living by selling copyright, ownership to words. We all do, we writers, this scam, because we need to earn money, only most don’t admit it’s a scam. Nobody really owns nothing.
— Kathy Acker
) (from her very-hard-to-find-online 1989 article, “A Few Notes on Two of My Books,” published in the Review of Contemporary Fiction
Sep 03, 2013
For a Classic Motown Song About Money, Credit Is What He Wants
Sad copyright story: Barrett Strong, who first wrote and recorded “Money (That’s What I Want)” for Motown, has never seen a penny of royalties for the song, because Motown executives had him removed from the copyright registration. (The single was Motown’s first big hit, and sold over a million copies, but you could probably live off the publishing from the Beatles’ cover alone…)
In 2009, Mr. Strong had a stroke, limiting his ability to play the piano and sing. He now lives in a retirement home here, and hopes that by recouping rights to “Money” he will more easily be able to pay his medical bills and residence fees. But he also wants his accomplishments properly remembered.
“Songs outlive people,” he said, with a mixture of sadness, resignation and anger. “The real reason Motown worked was the publishing. The records were just a vehicle to get the songs out there to the public. The real money is in the publishing, and if you have publishing, then hang on to it. That’s what it’s all about. If you give it away, you’re giving away your life, your legacy. Once you’re gone, those songs will still be playing.”
Filed under: copyright
Jun 28, 2013
British album cover artist Roger Dean sues James Cameron over ‘Avatar’
A pretty ridiculous lawsuit:
Dean alleged that some Avatar production workers had studied and referenced Dean’s art as they worked on the movie. The lawsuit claimed the film copied “floating mountains,” “stone arches” and the antennae and markings on flying creatures.
With an equally ridiculous statement by Cameron’s lawyer:
Cameron lawyer Bert Fields called Cameron the “most original and creative person in the motion picture business today” and said he doesn’t need to copy from anyone.
Oh really? Here’s a big list of potential influences on Avatar. i09 has a gallery of Dean art that looks similar, along with an article about how many of the design elements were taken from cars, the ocean floor, and real-life mechanics.
Apr 26, 2013
Andy Baio, “The New Prohibition”
“Fair use will not save you.”
Finally got around to watching Andy’s chilling talk on copyright, remix culture, and his legal battle and $30,000 settlement with the lawyers of photographer Jay Maisel. Ugh.
I wrote a little something about fair use for the New York Times last year. Murky waters:
Of course, one man’s fair use is another’s infringement, and unfortunately, the burden of proof in a fair use case is on the defendant, who, often lacking the money to fight in court, has no choice but to cease and desist. Many artists have suffered this fate, and so I continue making the blackouts with fingers crossed for a litigation-free future.
Feb 26, 2013
Infringement Claim Fails Because Law Protects Expression, Not Ideas
The primary objective of copyright is not to reward the labor of authors, but ‘[t]o promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts’ [according to the US Constitution]. To this end, copyright assures authors the right to their original expression, but encourages others to build freely upon the ideas and information conveyed by a work.”
Oct 10, 2012
» Copyright Law and the Art It Inspires - Room for Debate - NYTimes.com
I wrote a little something about fair use for the New York Times this morning:
There are four factors that determine whether a work can be considered fair use, and I’ve found that these legal constraints can actually be turned into artistic constraints. Rather than limiting my creativity, these constraints make the poems better.
Sep 28, 2012
Nobody can steal what they can’t see.
Jun 19, 2012
» The ethics of paying musicians for music
David Lowery (of Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven) has a really great piece about the ethical and moral issues surrounding downloading music for free.
The existential questions that your generation gets to answer are these:
Why do we value the network and hardware that delivers music but not the music itself?
Why are we willing to pay for computers, iPods, smartphones, data plans, and high speed internet access but not the music itself?
Why do we gladly give our money to some of the largest richest corporations in the world but not the companies and individuals who create and sell music?
Many in your generation are willing to pay a little extra to buy “fair trade” coffee that insures the workers that harvested the coffee were paid fairly. Many in your generation will pay a little more to buy clothing and shoes from manufacturers that certify they don’t use sweatshops. Many in your generation pressured Apple to examine working conditions at Foxconn in China. Your generation is largely responsible for the recent cultural changes that has given more equality to same sex couples. On nearly every count your generation is much more ethical and fair than my generation. Except for one thing. Artist rights.
Lowery has several other pieces on the Trichordist that are worth reading.
May 25, 2012
Fake goods aren’t totally bad…at least it created jobs at some counterfeit factories. We don’t want to be a brand that nobody wants to copy.
— Prada CEO Patrizio Bertelli’s response
to counterfeit bags (via
May 21, 2012
“Fair Use,” inside back cover of Craphound #5 by Sean Tejaratchi
Sean sent this to me after we came in contact over the Banksy/plagiarism stuff:
It’s the inside back cover I did for Crap Hound No.5. It’s a summary of the idea of Fair Use, and it addresses common questions and misconceptions. Feel free to pass it along to anyone if you think it’ll help. It was made about ten years ago, so it should probably be passed along with that warning, in case any new details have changed in the law.
More on fair use→
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