Monday, October 25, 2004

More Belated Posting
Continuing the use of blockquotes and catching up on things I noted in the paper, this time last Tuesday. I'm getting better. My last belated post was two weeks late; this one is just a week late. Yay me!
An Associated Press article from October 19 (the link is to a different version than was printed in the WT) goes into efforts by "Artists and scholars who believe the current copyright system unduly stifles creativity [to] push... a less restrictive alternative that they call the Creative Commons." How nice for them. I'm sure there are a lot of students who feel that the current plagiarism "system" "unduly stifles" their "creativity" when it comes to writing term papers too.

Fair use is fair use. The point is to allow some limited (make that
limited) use of the work of other people so that new work can be created. New work (make that new work). If you require the wholesale appropriation of someone else's efforts, it's not fair (make that not fair). One example cited is a low-budget documentary called "Class of '83" which focuses on classmates killed in the September 11 terrorist attacks. The editor had to cut "most of" the song "The Rose" as sung by a children's choir out of the show. If the song were in the "Creative Commons," the entire thing could have been included and the editor's job would have been made much, much easier. Boo frickin' hoo. If the documentary were not trying to make money off such as the use of a song written by someone else and, in this case, even sung by a group of someone elses, then they could have done the leg work to clear its use. I'd even be willing to bet that the owners of the song's rights might have allowed its use in such a documentary. Instead, the documentary makers just want their job made easier. I wonder if they've released their work into the "Creative Commons?"
I won't even go into the "Tragedy of the Commons" as every reader should already be aware of this. Though I will pimp for a blog I haven't yet added to the blogroll yet: The Commons Blog. A beautiful Sekimori design and intelligent content. Check it out.
What made this post necessary (here's where we get the blockquote fired up again right?
-Ed.) is this paragraph:
"The (Creative) Commons encourages sharing and makes explicit that creativity depends on easy access to raw materials," said Siva Vaidhyanathan a New York University professor critical of current copyright laws. "Right now, you have to assume you're going to get in trouble if you quote from somebody extensively or build upon a previous expression."
Excuse me dumbass, "raw materials" for art are paint, paper, filmstock, ink, canvas, and a hundred other things that do not (make that not) include the intellectual property of other people! I use the term "dumbass" as this alleged academic has a weblog that demonstrates he's just another standard issue left-wing professor. I look forward to seeing others make extensive use of any and all of his writings since he is such a believer in the "Creative Commons."

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