Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Shooting My Mouth Off Again

Here I go again...

I got an email from the Graphic Artists Guild about a debate being held at The Economist website about copyright. I went and voted but since I also had to register, I figured I should add my 2cents while I was there:

Dear Sir,
As a creative- and copyright holder- I propose that the concept of copyright is invaluable to insure that artists like myself can benefit from their efforts. However, since the inception of the Works Made For Hire designation in the 1976 Copyright Act, creator's rights to profit from their works have been continually eroded by corporate interests. We now have 2 classes of copyright holders, creators-in-fact (artists) and creators-in-statute (corporate publishers and distributors who have used their power in the marketplace to grab the rights of creators-in-fact.) Creators-in-fact are being squeezed between two monolithic forces: the creators-in-statute and consumers who feel entitled to what they want when they want it. To remedy this, I suggest a simple solution: eliminate W4H from copyright law and recognize that all-rights contracts and the practices corporate creators-in-statute use to force them on creators-in-fact are monopolistic and patently unfair. Utterly pie in the sky, of course, but that is my role in society...

So, there it is. I fear the pro-artists' rights side will lose, the forces of consumerism and the utter greed of the publishers have joined to make art and creativity just another "thing" -a bit of cheaply produced and easily replaced consumer junk. In the "Alvin Maker" series of speculative fiction works, there is an image that best illustrates my feeling about my place in society: the character is building a neverending wall, patiently placing one stone upon another; while behind him, the wall is being collapsed and destroyed by the forces of entropy.

Ah, this stone will perfectly fit with the one I just set..

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