Monday, June 12, 2006


I am sick and tired of the debate. Last week, I bought some DVD's (paid a little too much for used copies but they were out of print) from Videosmith's going out of business sale. What the content producers don't get is that artists don't fucking need them. A real artist will eat Ramen and live with their parents to produce a movie that Hollywood could never dream of making. A real musician will work a day job to finance their album and then give it away to all their friends.

In fact, the human spirit is driven to create. Surely, the cavemen didn't need the MPAA or the RIAA to ensure their paintings bring them a great hunt and they've survived to this very day without the assistance of copyright law. The same goes for the Egyptians and the petroglyphs in the South West.

We as a species are driven to create art. It's what truly separates us from the animals. Monkeys, birds and insects use tools. Dophins, whales and birds have language. Bees have dances that tell other bees where food is. Humans create art that survives long after the artist dies. The real question here is should the art become part of human culture or should it become the exclusive property of the corporation that holds the rights? In the past copyright had to be renewed after 32.2 years and could only be renewed once. Then the law changed. Some reasonable arguments arose for not expiring until the author dies +30 years so their direct heirs could benefit. However with the advent of corporations increasingly abusing contract law to become the "author" of any collaboration that time frame seems unreasonable. Corporations don't die. How many years ago was Steamboat Willie supposed to go into the public domain? What happened? Why can't I post the whole cartoon to my site royalty free? Disney Corp paid Congress to change copyright law to favor extremely long timeframes. Mickey Mouse isn't so "Mickey Mouse" when it comes to making a buck off IP. I understand that there is no work of art that will enter the public domain until 2019.

It's a shame that so many artworks will be kept out of the public domain. Some motion pictures are so big that they enter our culture and become part of the fabric of our very existence. It would be a shame if the copyright holder was given the chance to fuck with our most cherished works of cinematography.

It's easy to point a finger at the problem but what am I going to do about it? Well, I'm not making any money off my writing here. I could go out and find some modern day Medici Family to give me PayPal to keep going. Would that improve the quality of my writing? Can you even call my blog art? I know some other blogs that are worthy of being called art but mine is more therapy then anything. Isn't that why Spaulding Grey wrote "Monster In A Box"? Isn't that why anyone writes anything at all?

It comes down to simple economics. I think my post today is worth a million bucks. Sadly, a product or commodity is only worth what someone else is willing to pay for it. It's like real estate. I know an agent who got the listing to sell a house about a year ago. The owners wanted a million bucks for it. The agent advised them to list it for $700.000 but they were greedy. The agent talked them into listing it for just under $900,000. They turned down offers in the high 700's and so the house didn't sell. The owners fired the agent and tried to sell it themselves. They paid the two grand for the listing and half-assed advertising (and a cardboard sign.) They lost that money. Then they listed it with another agent who eventually sold it for less then the new asking price of $499,000. They rode that bastard straight into the ground because they got greedy.

Is it worth it to pay $20 for a CD of the soundtrack for a movie when the movie is selling for $12.99? Is it worth it to buy a DVD for $12.99 when you can get it OnDemand for $3.99? Does Hollywood really expect me to pay $20 to download a movie to my 12 inch laptop when I really want to watch it on my 72 inch projection screen TV but DRM hinders my burning the film to something my DVD player can play? That's if Hollywood even feels like selling the films and TV shows I want to watch. I say fuck them all. Next stop, The Pirate Bay. I'll be sailing the seas of Bittorrent. Avast ye scurvy matey and may god have mercy on your soul.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess it's your 11% non-repulican part doesn't believe the Gov should protect the right to make a profit.

Jun 10, 2006, 1:05:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin Wolf said...

The Sonny Bono Act, or whatever is was called. That's one of the worst bits of legislation of the past 10 years.

Jun 12, 2006, 3:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Adorable Girlfriend said...

Dean-o? Where are you man?

Jun 13, 2006, 1:07:00 PM  

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