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Copyright? Copywrong?

Some drama seems to be going around recently involving the famous cover version of Cdr. Hadfield's version of Oddity in Space and it's recent removal from YouTube.

My opinion on the subject is that it's NOT copyright that is at fault here but rather what big corporations (and bribed politicians) have turned it into.

Copyright - as it was intended - should give the *artist* and/or *producer* of content ("intellectual property") the right to say "who" is allowed to do "what" with it - and that includes asking for payment, i.e. licensing. I can't see anything wrong with that part honestly. It's how people make a fucking living for crying out loud! If you take that away, where will artists be able to make *ANY* money from their work? Especially in the digital age? We'd end up with part-time artists who have to work a fryer at McD to get past and can't concentrate on their next work becuase they need to live first, art later.

What's the problem then? It's big, anonymous corporations who "contract" artists to "exclusively handle their licensing" (=set terms and deny the artists their own work) so they can make millions of it. I am sure that any artist out there - even big shots! - wouldn't mind a cover version of an ancient song on YouTube or wherever as long as there's proper credit becuase THEY know that nobody would have bought the original recording anyway. BUT the suits in the corporations who actually HOLD the license ransom think so. It's THESE people who are destroying the creative world one bit at a time for personal gain. It has to revert back to where every artist (musician, painter, photographer, ...) controls the distribution and licensing of their own work.

To illustrate what I mean: I once planned on producing a short video with all the frills, including licensed professional music. I even bought the license for the two pieces I needed from a US distributor, including "synchronization" and "800 copies worldwide distribution" license. But guess what? Because I live in Austria and the Artist in question also has a contract that somehow reaches Austrian monopoly-license-corp AustroMechana: I'd have to pay THEM for the same thing again!

It's usually not the artist that come up with "time limited" or "per copy license" rights. It's the distributors. Because they smell additional sales after that. And while that may be true in some rare cases, it's totally blocking derived content from functioning. That said: these kind of restrictions need to go away. Either the copyright owner (i.e. the Artist!) grants permission for derivative works, or they don't. But once it HAS been granted, it should ALWAYS be perpetual. Because it essentially reverts the copyright for the derived artwork back to the "included" artist and that is copywrong.

It's not a right that's the problem here: it's "too big to fail" corporations again. And just for the record: if a corporation has to say that it's "too big to fail" - in my opinion it already failed right then and there.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 15th, 2014 08:36 am (UTC)
Wow.. that sucks that it even affected one of your projects also... ;P
May. 15th, 2014 07:28 pm (UTC)
It is indeed not the basic ideas behind copyright that are bad (for example creative commons or the GPL wouldn't be enforceable without any copyright!) but in the name of the artists big money has pushed a lot of laws through governments that are actually contrary to the original idea of copyright. On top of this this has created a vipers nest of laws/rules/obligations that require a lawyer to sort out even tough copyright law is one of the best example of a law that even regular people will encounter (because everything remotely artistic is covered even the holiday pictures)

Copyright has to go back to the basics with a limited term lets say 20 years with maybe an extension of another 20 possible (with maybe excepting the need for attribution) in which the artist (not some big money company) has total say on what is and isn't allowed regarding derivatives and public copying. I mean if an artist can't make any money of his works in say 20 years it is highly unlikely that they will be further down the line.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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