Current copyright laws have no place in today’s society and the information sharing ethos we all participate in. Sorry to those of you who believe it protects you and your rights, creations or intellectual property. There is no such thing as Intellectual property. My thoughts and opinions are shaped and moulded through open source information that I access through different mediums available to me and everyone else. So are they in reality, my own original thoughts or Intellectual property?
As soon as I pen my thoughts on paper or on a digital platform, in essence it belongs to everyone. Why did I write it in the first place? To lock it up in a vault, and only share it with myself when I feel the need to? If I left it in the vault, why was it being protected, and what value does it even have being locked up where no-one else can benefit from its value? Doesn’t sharing one’s thoughts and creations with other free human beings, make us all stronger in mind, improve ourselves individually and bring a sense of community to us all?
The last thing on an artists’ mind should be copyright protections, as you are unlikely to ‘make it ‘, anyway. Creating original work of real value and being discovered or noticed, are by far and away a lot more important in the overall scheme of things. If nobody discovers your creative works or talents as an artist, then it’s irrelevant. Under the current system, if you do get discovered at some level, by the time you pay all the middle men, you would have been better off selling or sharing your work yourself, independently and directly to the consumer. This would be the case for the majority of artists. Of course, if you are lucky enough and talented enough (debatable point in itself), you may become a world famous singer, writer etc. How many artists become super famous and successful in percentage terms….an extremely low minority. I any case, how much earning potential or income do copyright laws make you? In the overall scheme of things, basically nothing. Your income or earning potential comes from what consumers perceive it to have in value….nothing more.
The only people’s rights that are being ‘protected’ under current copyright laws, are the law makers and the industries who want to own the rights of our creational works. The middle men love copyright laws, because that’s how they benefit from the creator when you decide to licence your works, to them! Yes, they end up owning almost all of your rights anyway. It all ends up becoming anti-creative and anti-freedom in the purest sense of the word.
The whole industry of copyright, patents and intellectual property ends up empowering the law makers and their industrial cronies, who can then completely manipulate and control who or what piece of work is, or is not successful. It can also lead to censorship and control via a form of ‘book burning’ by those same controllers, especially in the digital era and online monopolies we currently live in.
Every once in a while there are tweaks to laws in the form of amendments, which can lead to your once ‘copyrighted’ or ‘protected’ works rendered completely useless from an income perspective, while all the benefits still flow into these industries coffers through royalties and copyrights, that they completely own into the distant future. These amendments will only protect them, while cutting you out of their gravy train. So what was once profitable for an artist, can be taken away in the future without any permission, by those same lawmakers.
How about that next research paper or article you were planning on writing? What happens when the source you intended on using is ‘copyrighted’ or even unquotable and un-linkable? How are you then able to back up an argument or cite specific references or evidence to point to in your article or writing? What happens when that once perfectly law abiding research or article is rendered illegal via future copyright amendments and is then taken down from view? It all ends up turning into censorship of one form or another, and it can be done at any moment without the permission of the public itself.
Copyright law is not your friend, and neither should you, be of it. As soon as everyone gets over their Stockholm Syndrome, then we will all be in a much better place.
Having said all of that, do I directly copy other peoples’ work and put my name to it? No, of course not. That is just plainly lazy and does not add any value or creativity to something that has already been done before. I believe that being as original as you possibly can, is more satisfying on a personal level and adds more credibility to your work from a consumer’s perspective, while adding a lot more value in and by itself to an economy or community. However, sharing or re-mixing others work, is a completely different thing altogether.
Sharing and re-mixing other peoples’ work is an educational tool, which can lead to greater awareness in the form of information sharing. Re-mixing images can also end up in some fantastically creative memes for instance, like here and here which allows citizens to create satire as a form of empowerment against its rulers. Under new proposed EU laws, these same rulers are attempting to use copyright law to control decent, by ‘filtering’ your memes.
Re-mixing original works is also an art form. After all, isn’t it possible to improve upon the original work itself? Improving or adding value to past works or ideas has always been a part of the human cycle of creativity, discovery and sharing of information to enlighten and inform. It has been used as a vehicle throughout history, to enhance freedom of thought, creation, liberty and abundance for all.
Here is an interesting Ted Talk by Kirby Ferguson, which explains how all creativity is a remix of some kind, and how so many products we use today, were not original works in themselves.
One of the most contentious issues facing the music industry has been that of file sharing services. The music Industry through its powerful lobbyists, vehemently opposed file sharing services and argued that it would decimate the industry. Well, we now know this has proven to be false. One could easily argue that the impact was at worst negligible and possibly even beneficial, especially for those artists who were ‘unknowns’ and were only discovered because of the ability to share their own music via these platforms. Here is an article published on Techdirt that refutes the early claims made by music industry executives and lobbyists.
I would argue that the music industry benefits overall, because it gives them more exposure and advertising value to an even wider audience than was previously possible. You might actually discover or hear a song that you otherwise may not have discovered, if it wasn’t for the principles of sharing. Are you not more likely to purchase a song physically or digitally, if you really like it? How about attending a live concert and the revenues derived from them? They are booming more than ever, because of the sharing economy and extra online exposure the industry gets.
sendthemyourmoney.com is a website, that has a satirical take on the entire file sharing dispute, and some solutions to it all. Highly recommended reading!
Monopolisers like Monsanto, Nestle, Google, Hollywood, the music industry etc. absolutely drool at the mouth for the ‘rights’ they themselves gain from all of these laws, from a focus of pure self-interest and control they gain over their users. They even lobby for laws, to claim property that never belonged to them in the first place, and is against the interest of the public good.
When it comes to patents, let’s take a look at the Monsanto example. They own thousands of patents (or copyrights) on seeds and agricultural technologies all round the world, through regulation that was written by them, which only benefits them, and their ‘friends’ in office and the industries they operate in. Not only that, it’s completely at odds with the interests of humanity, and as a result, our health suffers from this monopolisation effect, that produces less incentive to create a good quality product, through the lack of competition.
Below, is an excerpt from the website gmoanswers.com, which states how many patents is under the ownership of Monsanto on a world-wide basis.
Monsanto currently has about 5,000 granted and unexpired U.S. patents and over 9,000 granted and unexpired patents worldwide. These patents cover a wide variety of technologies, including plants, chemicals, processes and machines.
And some general patent statistics from the same excerpt:
The U.S. Patent Office tracks the number of U.S. patents issued to companies per year. In 2015, we received 444 U.S. patents. This ranked us as 81st on the list of U.S. patents received. Number 1 on the list is IBM, with 7,309 US patents issued in 2015; Apple had 1,937 US patents issued in 2015 and is ranked as 15.
You see, all of the public disinformation agents and conspiracy theorists got it all wrong. They don’t own or have rights to 11,000+ patents. No, no… it’s only 9000! We should probably shed a tear for Monsanto, because surely 9000 patents is just not enough and is limiting their own freedom and right to ownership of any and all technologies, plants, chemicals, processes and machines, that monopolise those industries for their own gain, and at our own expense and disharmony.
This is the law of oppressors, and is being imposed on us all. Not only do they own all these patents, but this also allows them to hide all research papers and fraud science that is negatively perceived by the public, by actually making it illegal for us to access, publish or share this information in the public interest. We all know how that’s turning out, don’t we!
Link to original article.
Sources and recommended resources for further research
As always, have a great day and PEACE