(Continued after the Jump)
We need only look a few years back, when the hooligans that ran Napster were, quite literally, running amok with the creative talents of musicians everywhere. More than one professional photographer I knew had streams of Napster-sourced music running in their studio, and they seemed to see nothing wrong with it, until I pointed out the hypocrisy, but then I was the killjoy. Too bad. Call me Kilroy, or Killjoy, stealing music was stealing from artists. Period. Then, someone (ahem - Apple) invented a way to properly manage music, and Napster was lobotomized into a lifeless parody of itself, all legal, of course. All, thanks to the music industry's deep pockets and lawyers on retainer.
Now, we have the imbecile Lawrence Lessig, who, from the ivory tower of Harvard University (by way of a video festival awards ceremony), attempted to decree that the thieves of the world "can teach this culture how this form of expression is essential." By "this form" he meant, the mash-ups and repurposing of others intellectual property, and he goes on to say "When we've taught the culture, the law catches up..." Really? Is that what they're teaching at Harvard these days? Teaching the general public to break the law, and eventually it will be ok? Gosh, that sounds a lot like the early arguments for the 12,000,000
With we as the goose, enter the gander. While I didn't like that Disney mickey-moused with the copyright laws to protect their aging-into-public-domain mouse, it did demonstrate their might, when they wanted it to be exercised. Photographers will likely be among the beneficiaries of the platoons of lawyers the
Lessig, according to the PDN article on this, is quoted as saying "Respect in the 21st century is acknowledgment. When you use someone else’s work, you give them credit." Ok, and I can pay my mortgage with....credit? Mr Lessig, are you saying "let's screw the creative community now, and you'll respect them in the morning?" If so, who's wearing the beer goggles now?
While the concept of Creative Commons was a good one, Lessig has essentially named himself Creative Evisceration Officer, and anyone who now supports CC is aligning themselves with his as-yet-unstated-until-now position. ASMP, who has previously associated themselves with Lessig (here) should immediately disassociate themselves from Lessig in no uncertain terms. Plagarism Today, asked in a piece - Is Creative Commons a Rights Grab? - and it seems that that was the smoke, and Lessig's latest comments reveal the fire. Who will he burn next?
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