Urban Birdsong: Copyright and Cores of Culture
Mass media has done such a good job at embedding their copyright into culture that it has become culture itself.
Source: apophenia: when media becomes culture: rethinking copyright issues I've been meaning to write something about just this notion for awhile now, but haven't felt like I had anything good to say. But this is why all this greedy copyright grubbing and sphincter-clenched Intellectual Property pisses me off.
I've got this idea that sticks with me: All music started from birdsong and other sounds from the environment. But today, our environment is more and more man-made and urban. So now, birdsong comes from the radio, earphones, and the open windows of passing cars. It's our connotative vocabulary. Only in the past, the birds never had lawyers and egos.
You make music, you tell a story, you spawn an icon with big ears. If you're successful, it makes its way out of your hands and becomes adopted by others. But after awhile, it stops being yours so much as it becomes a shared focus for others. Whatever you meant for it in the beginning, it's become the seed of a hailstone. If you're really good or lucky, the hailstone grows into a comet.
All of the experiences and memories and feelings of all of the people who have taken in your creation accrete around it, eventually becoming more than your creation ever was. But, you can't ever own that, it's not yours—and the only way you can have any say in the matter is through artificial means supported by the barrel of a gun. The core of it may have once come from you, but that's all. The rest is culture.
Artists deserve compensation and need it to keep releasing cores of culture, but we all need to agree that these things are indeed released. There needs to be an realization that, after time, compensation turns into parasitic thievery of the source from which they drew to begin with.
And besides, where's the incentive to keep creating, if you can just ride along milking what you've already released? Isn't that what copyright's supposed to be all about? To "promote the arts and sciences"? How does vampirism in perpetuity do that?
Anyway, in the end, with all this DRM crap and treating the audience as a gang of criminals, I just want to know that I can opt out. You want to copy protect your refried crap to the point where it'll be illegible in 10 years and lost forever when your business model goes under? Fine. Just leave the rest of us out of it and get your hands off my computer.
Whenever I get around to writing and releasing the stories in my head, they'll be released. And in the meantime, I'll continue paying more and more attention to the people who get it—it'll be their birdsong that I'll be repeating.