“Every artist is a cannibal, every poet is a thief
All kill their inspiration and sing about the grief” (U2, "The Fly", from Achtung Baby, 1991)
I finally submitted a slightly overdue essay on issues surrounding copyright in a digital age... I happened across a great book while buying a second-hand textbook from Amazon (when I buy a second-hand book I tend to browse the second -hand booksellers catalogue to see what else is on offer...) The book in question is Controlling Voices: Intellectual Property, Humanistic Studies and the Internet by TyAnna K. Herrington, Southern Illinois University Press, 2001.
The reading for this course is excellent. I've been reading the judges' statements (majority and minority) at the 2002 US Supreme Court challenge to the Sonny Bono "Mickey Mouse" copyright extension bill (Lawrence Lessig was one of the plaintiffs). That's the bill that extended copyright from 50 years to 70 years, a bill that protected Disney and others' entertainment interests from being in the public domain. The Supreme Court rejected the challenge to the bill but as 4-3 vote, and the lead judge's ruling and that of one of the dissenting judge's are actually fabulous reading about copyright, authorship, ownership and commerce. You may not be aware that thanks to our free trade agreement with the US, the 70 year limit now applies here as well. How's that for colonialism!
A couple of good quotes from Herrington's book:
“Reality exists only in shared perception, and this perception depends on information developed through the process of creating knowledge. Those who have access to knowledge and control its use and dissemination thus control what we perceive: ultimately our shared reality.”
In the introduction to Herrington’s book, Jay David Bolter says, “We should be increasingly skeptical of claims by individuals and corporations to own texts that are themselves the products of interactions among current and earlier texts, authors and readers”.
Great to have an excuse to cite Negativland in a uni essay!
I'm listening to Bright Eyes' Cassadaga at the moment and loving it!